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Transport and getting around

Disabilities and impairments can make travel a challenge. Read about Home to school travel assistance and other support.

Last updated: 4 July 2022

Next review: 29 December 2022

Assistance with travel

Home to school transport

We sometimes provide free home to school transport for a child with SEND, based on our assessment of individual needs. See the home to school travel section below. 

Freedom Pass

The Freedom Pass for disabled people gives free travel on:

  • most public transport in London 24/7
  • most National Rail services within London after 9.30am and all day at weekends and on public holidays
  • local bus services in the rest of England

Disabled Person's Railcard

With a Disabled Person’s Railcard you can save up to a third on the cost of train tickets. If travelling with an adult family member, carer, or friend, you both get the discount.

Taxicard

If you've serious permanent mobility problems or severe sight impairment, the Taxicard scheme provides subsidised travel in black taxis and private hire vehicles.

Dial-a-Ride

TfL runs a door to door service for people with long-term disabilities. Taxicard scheme members are automatically eligible for Dial-a-Ride.

Transport for London Mentoring Service

TfL Mentoring service to help vulnerable people learn travel routes and gain confidence in travelling independently.

Waltham Forest wheelchair service

If you're registered with a GP in Waltham Forest, you can access wheelchair service through AJM Healthcare, our NHS wheelchair service provider.

Home to school travel assistance

We may provide free home to school transport for a child with SEND. The reasons for this include living far from a school or college, age, type of special educational need or disability. 

Our policy on school travel assistance outlines how we determine eligibility and what type of support we might give. This could include: 

  • providing a bus pass
  • support towards mileage costs
  • reimbursement of rail/Tube fare
  • providing an escort to accompany a child to school
  • an independent travel training programme
  • transport by bus or minibus or an accessible bus or minibus

Our home to school travel assistance policies

Parents' responsibilities

Parents wishing to use this service must:

  • ensure their child's ready at the scheduled pick up time
  • be at home/pick up point to receive the child after school
  • be polite to school staff, escorts, drivers and pupils 
  • provide two emergency telephone contact numbers
  • inform the SEN team of any change of address and give notice if any changes to transport routes are required. 

We will monitor standards and survey parents and schools every year to check how satisfied they are with the service.

School's responsibilities

Schools can help by:

  • making sure there are enough staff on hand at scheduled drop-off times to accept children into the school.
  • ensuring children are ready at the scheduled collection time
  • helping with the review of transport requirements each year by considering each child's transport needs. This information should be provided at the annual review of statement of special educational needs
  • giving timely notice of changes in transport requirements.

Find out more

SEN travel assistance aged 16 and over

If you're 16 or over, you can apply for travel support providing:

  • You're 16 but under 19 when the course begins
  • You're at college full-time
  • You attend the nearest appropriate school or college, accounting for your needs, chosen course of study and any faith preference
  • It is more than three miles from your home to the place of study
  • You or your family receive one of the following benefits:
    • Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance (income-based)
    • Child Tax Credit but NOT also Working Tax Credit and have annual taxable income within HMRC's specified limits for the financial year of the course
    • Financial support under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) or the council's Asylum Resettlement Team
  • You previously had a statement of Special Education Needs, and the need for travel support post 16 is stated in your transition plan.

Apply to the SEN team as early as possible. Contact the SEN transport officer on 020 8496 6500 for details.

If you would like your child to be considered for home to school travel assistance, please download and complete the form (PDF) and email it to assistancewithtravel@walthamforest.gov.uk.

Specialist, community, and public transport

Community transport

Community transport is usually run by local people for others who have difficulty using normal transport.

Individuals and community groups can book transport in advance for leisure or other trips. Volunteer drives are trained in helping people with mobility difficulties.

Registered charity Community Transport Waltham Forest (CTWF) provides safe, affordable and accessible group travel service to local community and voluntary groups.

To find out more, email info@ctwf.co.uk or call 020 8521 0665.

Specialist transport for those with mobility issues

Various services can help if you have difficulty getting about, whether it’s a physical or learning disability, sensory impairment, frailty or lack of confidence.

Motability Scheme is an exchange scheme which offers disabled people access to a new car, powered wheelchair or scooter.

Mobility schemes

Shopmobility schemes lend manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs and powered scooters to people with limited mobility to help them get around. 

You can borrow a mobility scooter for up to one week from Shopmobility.

To find out more, call: 020 8520 3366.

Using public transport if you're disabled or have mobility issues

Easy-Access Buses

Plan your journey ahead using the Walthamstow bus service information to find out about bus services with low floors.

You can also talk to a qualified rehabilitation officer for advice.

If you need assistance to move around, a companion may be able to travel free.

Plan a route with TfL using the accessibility options right for you.

Driving and parking

Free parking: carer's parking permit

You can apply for a free carer’s parking permit if you are:

  • the owner or main keeper of the vehicle
  • caring for a resident who lives in a controlled parking zone (CPZ)
  • getting Carer’s Allowance
  • a Foster Carer who lives within a CPZ in Waltham Forest (Foster Carer status will be confirmed via our Foster Team. You must provide proof of address).
  • If you are an unofficial carer, you may be allowed to buy a permit. 

Blue Badge 

Annual Blue Badge resident permits are available to Waltham forest residents who live within a CPZ, and not part of a car-free development.

Congestion Charge

If you hold a valid Blue Badge, you can register for a 100 per cent discount on the congestion charge, even if you don't own a vehicle or drive. You can also apply on behalf of another person, for example a child.