There are lots of schemes in place to help those who have a disability get out and about, whether it is by public or private transport.
When travelling by public transport all station and train operators must have a disabled people’s protection policy. If you need assistance when travelling by public transport, you should contact the operator prior to the date of travel outlining the assistance you require, whether it be help getting on and off the train/bus/aeroplane or being guided to the right platform.
Most disabled people are entitled to concessionary fares. By applying for a disabled person’s railcard, it entitles you to a third off the price of most rail tickets. Concessionary or free travel also applies for bus travel and underground services.
For those that are unable to use public transport, the dial-a-bus scheme provides a door-to-door service. You can obtain information regarding this from your local authority.
The taxicard scheme also provides a door-to-door service. The scheme subsidizes the cost of taxi fares for people with serious mobility problems and the vehicles also have extra room for wheelchairs or bulky medical equipment. However, by 1 January 2012 all licensed taxis must be wheelchair accessible.
Licensed taxis and minicabs are required to carry a disabled person even if they are accompanied by a guide dog, hearing dog or assistance dog. However, a taxi driver can apply for exemption if they are allergic.
A disabled person that wants to buy their own car may be able to obtain a discount or financial support, it is worth contacting the DVLA to find out what you are entitled to. In some instances you may be exempt from road tax and may be entitled to a blue badge – which offers disabled people the opportunity to park in parking restricted areas. Many hire companies also offer discounts, it is worth checking when making your initial enquiry.
Emily Smith of Britannia Driving School said: The freedom of learning to drive and having your own vehicle is next to none. However, no matter how you get around it is only right that there be no restrictions for any disabled person.
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