People with learning disabilities, like everyone else, need to be able to use safe, affordable and accessible transport. Good transport services open up access to health and social care services, education and learning and leisure activities within the local community - helping people live more independently and have more control over their lives.
There are many ways you can get the right support when travelling in Reading and further afield.
Transport to social care activities and health appointments
See Reading Mencap’s Factsheet on Transport. This outlines the duties local authorities have with regard to providing transport when people have been assessed as needing to attend a social care activity.
Luke Clements, Cerebra Professor of Law and Social Justice at the School of Law at the University of Leeds, advises: ‘if the disabled person has been assessed as needing (for example) a day activity provided at a day centre, or a need to take part in social/leisure activities within the community the local authority must then consider transport: how is she/he going to get there?
'This duty does not change because a person is receiving the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or PIP etc.'
ReadiBus is the dial-a-ride bus service for people with restricted mobility in and around Reading. It is for people who are unable to use mainstream public transport services. It doesn’t matter what the mobility restriction is – if it prevents you from using public transport or you simply need too much help doing so, then Readibus is for you. Many people who attend Reading Mencap’s ME Day Activity Service and clubs and activities use Readibus.
To book a journey with Readibus, you first need to request to register to use the service. Readibus will discuss your mobility needs with you.
Call 0118 931 0000 (English) or 0118 923 8759 (Urdu).
Disability bus passes
Reading Borough residents who cannot hold a driver's license on medical grounds or with limited mobility can apply for a disability bus pass. The bus pass can be used at any time on weekdays, weekends and bank holidays and you may also be able to travel for free on Readibus if you meet their eligibility criteria. Carers may also qualify for free bus travel as a companion.
For more information on concessionary bus passes please call Reading Borough Council on 0118 937 3767.
Disabled persons railcard
The Disabled Persons Railcard is for people with a disability that makes travelling by train difficult.
You will qualify if you:
The Blue Badge Scheme
The Blue Badge Scheme
A Blue Badge enables you to park closer to where you want to go. The scheme has been expanded to include people with hidden disabilities such as learning disabilities and autism.
The new criteria will extend eligibility to people who:
Blue Badges allow people with disabilities to park closer to their destination. They are issued to people, not vehicles, so you can use them in any vehicle you travel in.
The Motability Scheme aims to enable people with a disability to lease a car, powered wheelchair or scooter.
Motability is a charity set up by the government to enable people with a disability to get around and be more independent.
If you get a mobility allowance like Disability Living Allowance or PIP, you should be able to get help from Motability, who will take all or part of your mobility benefit to pay for the lease of the vehicle you choose.
Adapted and wheelchair access vehicles are also available. Find out more about the Motability Scheme.
Free home to school transport
You can apply for free school transport if your nearest suitable school is not within walking distance of your home. Walking distance is:
You might also be able to apply if your child has a disability or an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP).
You can arrange this through your local council, which must provide transport suitable for your child’s needs. Find out about the transport Reading Borough Council provides.
Post 16 students
There is no legal entitlement for free transport to school after Year 11. However, if you are attending a full-time course at Reading College, have a Education, Health and Care Plan and your end of Year 11 review indicated that you would need help to travel, you will get help.
The Better Futures For Children Post 16 Education Transport Policy gives further details.
We’re supporting ‘it’s everyone’s journey’
Using public transport can be more challenging for disabled people, but small changes from other passengers could make a big difference. That’s why we’re getting behind the Department for Transport’s new behaviour change campaign.
Public transport is at the heart of how we all live our lives, helping us get to work, school or college, healthcare appointments and social events. At Reading Mencap we want public transport to be truly inclusive and disabled people to be able to travel as confidently as other passengers.
However, at present too many disabled people say that they don’t feel confident using public transport and 1 in 4 say that negative attitudes from other passengers prevent them from travelling.
The Department for Transport’s new campaign aims to show other passengers the impact their unconscious behaviour can have on disabled passengers and encourages them to make small changes to their habits when travelling, such as:
We hope the campaign will encourage us all to make the changes needed to create a more supportive travel environment for disabled passengers.
More information about the campaign can be found at gov.uk/everyonesjourney