Travel and Transport
Having access to suitable transport can make a big difference to someone with additional needs.
Home to school transport
School Transport - SEND Children eligibility
A child with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND) will also be provided with travel assistance where it is identified that they are unable to safely walk the journey to and from school (accompanied where a parent/carer would normally be expected to do so) due to their SEND needs even if distance criteria are not met. The child is not required to have an EHCP.
If you have any questions please contact the School Transport team by completing the Contact Us form or phone 0300 300 8339
More details and how to apply for SEND Transport can be found on Central Bedfordshire Council's website.
Policies for school transport
The following policies govern our school transport service:
- Policy for Travel Assistance for Children and Young People Attending School
- Policy for Travel Assistance for Young People Aged 16 to 19
- Travel Assistance Policy for 19 to 25 year olds with SEND and/or an EHC plan
Central Bedfordshire Council has been offering 45p per mile from 1st April 2023 to parents and carers of children who are currently in receipt of parental mileage and those eligible for lone private taxi transfers to and from school, if they wish to do drop off and pick up themselves.
The Council recognises that since the pandemic more parent carers can, and want to, do the school run. The Council is now offering parents 45p per mile for two return journeys to school if they opt to transport their children to school, instead of choosing a private taxi. The Council will continue to provide transport for any children who are eligible for it.
Claim 45p per mile for home to school transport
Parents and carers who already receive parental mileage will have been automatically given the new allowance from 1st April 2023 – you do not need to reapply. If you have not received the increase, please contact the School Transport team who will update your account and reimburse the difference missed.
If this is something you would like to consider, please call the School Transport team on 0300 300 8339 to discuss your circumstances or raise a ticket via the contact form where your options can be discussed.
Driving and Motability
If you receive the higher mobility component of either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you may be eligible to:
- get a vehicle
- have a vehicle adapted to meet your needs
- get equipment for your car
Motability offer a scheme for any child or adult who is in receipt of the higher mobility component of DLA or PIP. The scheme allows the disabled person to use the mobility element of their benefit to lease a vehicle such as a car, mobility scooter or powered wheelchair. Motability cars may be driven by the disabled person themselves or by their carer(s).
Please note that if you stop receiving the higher mobility rate of DLA or PIP, you may have to return the vehicle.
Disability Driving Instructors
The Association of Disability Driving Instructors, has an online register of driving instructors who can help people with physical disabilities, special educational needs and those with hearing difficulties learn to drive.
Family Fund Mobility Support
If you have a disabled or seriously ill child under three, and would benefit from access to a car, the Family Fund Mobility Support programme could help.
The Family Fund Mobility Support programme covers the period between birth and the age of three (which is when the national Motability scheme kicks in). If your child continues to have mobility needs, from the age of two years and nine months, you can apply for the high rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance and consider lease car options through the national Motability scheme.
More infomation can be found on the Family Fund website.
Blue Badge Scheme
You can apply for a Blue Badge if you:
- receive the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance (HRMCDLA)
- receive the moving around descriptor for the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with a score of 8 or more points
- receive the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment with a score of 10 points specifically for Descriptor E, the “planning and following journeys” activity on the grounds undertaking any journey would cause overwhelming psychological distress
- are registered blind (severely sight impaired)
- receive a War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement (WMPS)
- have been awarded a lump sum benefit at tariffs 1-8 of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- are certified as having an enduring and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking
Disabled Person's Bus Pass
You can apply for a disabled person's bus pass if your disability falls into the following categories:
- blind or partially sighted (category A)
- profoundly or severely deaf (category B)
- being without speech - this doesn't include those whose speech may be difficult to understand or who have language difficulties (category C)
- walking impairment, due to having a disability, or having suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to walk (category D)
- no arms, also the long-term loss of the use of both arms (category E)
- learning disability that is a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind, which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning, which must have started before adulthood (category F)
- physically unfit to drive - if you applied for the grant of a licence to drive a motor vehicle under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988, would have an application refused pursuant to section 92 of that Act (physical fitness) otherwise than on the grounds of persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol (category G)
Travel by Rail
Bus passes and rail services
A bus pass issued by Central Bedfordshire Council also allows you to rail travel for half the normal adult fare on the following rail services:
- Thameslink and Great Northern trains between Sandy, Biggleswade and Arlesey and any station as far as Hadley Wood, Crews Hill and Royston
- Thameslink and Great Northern trains between Bedford and Elstree & Borehamwood and stations in between
- East Midland trains between Bedford and Luton Airport Parkway
- London North Western trains on the Marston Vale line between Bedford and Bletchley
Disabled Persons Railcards
If you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult, you might qualify for a disabled person's railcard. The railcard allows you, and 1 adult travelling with you, to get a third off of most rail fares throughout Great Britain.
Please visit the disabled person's railcard website for more information.
Travel by Air
Special assistance is available to passengers who may need help to travel such as the elderly, those people with a physical disability, such as wheelchair users, and those who have difficulty with social interaction and communication, such as those with autism or dementia.
Your right to special assistance is stipulated in UK law and applies when:
- You fly on any airline from a UK airport
- You fly on an EU or UK registered airline to an UK airport
- You fly from outside of the UK or EU to the EU on a UK carrier
Passengers who want special assistance should aim to give their airline 48 hours notice of the help they require.
Help is available from the moment you arrive at an airport and can cover:
- your journey through your departure airport
- boarding the aircraft and during the flight
- disembarking the aircraft
- transferring between flights
- travelling through your destination airport
More information can be found under Travel Assistance
NHS Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme
If you're referred to hospital or other NHS premises for specialist NHS treatment or diagnostic tests by a doctor, dentist or another primary care health professional, you may be able to claim a refund of reasonable travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).
Find out if you are eligible for the scheme and how to make a claim on the NHS website.