Leisure and travel concessions
There are several leisure and travel concessions that you could be entitled to if you are blind or partially sighted. Find out more about what they are and if you could qualify.
Concessions on public transport
The Disabled Person’s Railcard gives at least one-third off the price of certain rail tickets for the cardholder, and an accompanying adult where applicable, in England, Wales and Scotland.
Even if you do not have the Disabled Person’s Railcard, you can get discounted rail travel of 34 per cent or 50 per cent on certain tickets, or free travel for a companion when you travel on your season ticket. To qualify you must be travelling with another person and have a document confirming your registration both when you buy and when travelling on your ticket.
You can get sighted assistance at the start and end of your rail journey. Contact the relevant train operating company in advance to arrange this. For more information visit the National Rail website.
There may also be community transport services such as Shopmobility and taxi discount schemes available in your area such as the Taxicard scheme in Greater London.
You’ll be able to get a bus pass that gives you free concessionary travel throughout the country.
If you live in Scotland you can get a National Entitlement Card (NEC) that entitles you to free bus travel and free and concessionary standard class travel on transport across Scotland. For further information visit entitlementcard.org.uk.
If you live in Northern Ireland, you can get a Smart Pass that entitles you to free or half-price travel on nearly all scheduled bus and rail services. Visit nidirect.gov.uk or email [email protected].
If you live in Wales, you can travel for free on most bus services in Wales and the borders using a Welsh Concessionary Travel Card. This provides you and the person you’re travelling with discounted or free travel on many rail services. Visit portal.tfw.wales/en or email [email protected] for more information.
Free or discounted travel on local ferry services is available in some parts of the UK.
Contact your local authority or local transport providers for further details of travel concessions in your area.
Car parking – the Blue Badge scheme
If you are registered as blind (severely sight impaired), you could be eligible to apply for the Blue Badge scheme. The scheme, run by local authorities, allows drivers to park in spaces reserved for disabled people. Often these are very close to buildings and facilities to make it easier for disabled people to access them.
Although the Blue Badge would be in your name and you would be unable to drive yourself because of your sight loss, you can use it in any vehicle in which you travel.
For more information about the scheme, contact your local authority or visit one of the following websites:
- England: GOV.UK Blue Badge website
- Northern Ireland: NI direct
- Scotland: Blue Badge Scotland
- Wales: GOV.UK Blue Badge website
To find out more about travel concessions along with tips and advice on travelling on public transport download our Travel booklet:
Free cinema ticket for someone accompanying you
Although you may not be able to get a discount for your own ticket to the cinema, you may be able to get a free ticket for anyone accompanying you if you sign up for a Cinema Exhibitor's Association (CEA) card.
To apply for the card you will need to prove that you receive a qualifying benefit (such as Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance) or that you are registered as blind ("severely sight impaired").
Entry to places of interest and events
Most museums, galleries, exhibitions, theatres, concert venues and places of interest in the UK will usually offer discounted entry (if they charge at all) to disabled people – including blind and partially sighted people.
The same venue may also offer services to make their venue accessible to people with sight loss. For example, a museum may offer guided tours or audio guides that you can listen to as you move amongst the exhibits; a concert venue may have special seats reserved that are closer to the stage; or a theatre may provide audio-described performances, and even a chance to meet the cast and feel their costumes beforehand.
Contact the venue you’re interested in visiting to see what discounts they can offer you and what services they have to make your visit more enjoyable.