Freedom Passes are managed by London Councils.
There are four different Freedom Passes:
- 60+ London Oyster - to obtain a 60+ London Oyster a person has to evidence they live in London and are aged 60+. Once eligible for an Older Persons Freedom Pass, the 60+ London Oyster is cancelled;
- Older Persons - to obtain an Older Persons Freedom Pass a person has to evidence they live in the borough and are aged 66+;
- Disabled Persons - to obtain a Disabled Persons Freedom Pass a person has to evidence they meet one of the six national criteria;
- Veterans - to obtain a Veterans Oyster Card a person has to evidence they receive ongoing payments via the War Pensions Scheme or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (this includes widows, widowers and dependants).
To apply for a Freedom Pass, visit: www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/freedom-pass or call 0300 330 1433. If eligible a notification will be sent to the Council to issue.
Freedom Passes are FREE and have to be renewed every five years.
Applicants who do NOT meet the automatic eligibility criteria may be considered under the Council’s discretionary criteria - you will need to supply full details of the disability and how it affects your day-to-day living with supporting medical / Adult Social Care evidence.
Passes issued on a discretionary basis are subject to ongoing review and can be withdrawn at any time. If you qualify for other travel schemes we may refuse to issue a discretionary Pass or advise existing Pass holder to switch to the other travel schemes. A discretionary pass cannot be used outside of London, and will become invalid if you move outside of Newham.
Blue Badges are managed nationally with a set national criteria - based upon a person’s mobility and more recently ‘hidden disabilities’ such as Learning Disabilities and Mental Health needs).
To apply for a Blue Badge visit: www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge or call 0300 200 781.
A resident will need:
- A colour passport sized and quality photo;
- Proof of address (e.g. a Council Tax or utility bill dated within the last three months);
- Proof of identification (e.g. a driving licence or passport).
They will also need supporting evidence such as a letter confirming:
- They are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (Higher Rate Mobility); OR
- They are in receipt of a Personal Independence Payment with a point score of eight or above for 'Moving Around' or 10 for 'Planning and Following a Journey. If you need a copy of either of these letters you can call 08457 123 456.
If you do not have this evidence, you can provide:
- An up-to-date letter of their diagnosis;
- Evidence of specialist consultations, ongoing treatment and / or clinic attendances, or referral for such;
- Evidence of prescribed medication relevant to their condition;
- An up-to-date Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP);
- Social Care - Care and Support Plan;
- Up-to-date letter from a professional involved in their care.
If eligible a notification will be sent to the Council to issue. There is a £10 administration fee.
A Taxi Card offers subsidised travel in licensed taxis and private hire vehicles (minicabs) to London residents with severe mobility impairments or who are severely sight impaired. It enables members who have difficulty in using public transport to get out and about. Taxi Cards are managed by London Councils with a set eligibility criteria with option of discretion. If a person meets the criteria, notification is sent to the Council to issue.
Newham residents receive 144 journeys per annum; and have to pay the first £3.80 of their journey. The Council pays the rest up to £10.80. The trip tariff is dependent on time of day.
Residents should monitor their trip patterns to obtain a different solution (e.g. if going to the Pharmacist to collect medication, arrange for the Pharmacist to deliver the medication, or use Dial-a-Ride where there isn’t a time specific need, etc).
For more information visit: www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/taxicard or call 020 7763 5001 - Option 1.
Transport for London manages Dial-a-Ride. A person is automatically entitled to Dial-a-Ride if they have a Taxi Card, but need to complete a form which is available at: www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/dial-a-ride.
Residents are automatically eligible for membership if they are:
- A Taxicard member - getting the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance;
- Getting the Standard or Enhanced Mobility Rate of the Personal Independence Payment;
- Registered blind or partially sighted;
- Aged 85 or over;
- Getting a Higher Rate Attendance Allowance;
- Getting a War Pension Mobility Supplement.
Once approved, notification is sent to the Council to issue. Dial-a-Ride does not operate at evenings and weekend and has limited spaces. As such, it is good to use Dia-laRide in the week and Taxi Card at weekends / in the evenings.
For more information visit: www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/dial-a-ride or call 0343 222 777 (8:00am - 8:00pm, even days a week).
Access to Work
Access to Work helps people to get or stay in work if they have a physical or mental health condition or disability. The support provided will depend on the person’s needs.
In relation to travel assistance, support may include:
- Adaptations to your vehicle so you can get to work;
- Taxi fares to work or a support worker if you cannot use public transport;
It does not matter how much a person earns; and an Access to Work grant does not affect any other benefits and does not need to be paid back. For more information visit: www.gov.uk/access-to-work or call 0800 121 7479.
The Motability Scheme enables people to get mobile by exchanging their mobility allowance to lease a new car, WAV, scooter or powered wheelchair. Residents can check they are eligible by visiting: www.motability.co.uk/about/check-your-eligibility
If eligible, residents need to contact a Motability Dealer and arrange an appointment with their Motability Scheme specialist.
A person exchanges all, or part of their mobility allowance to lease a vehicle of their choice. Payments are deducted from their allowance every four weeks, then paid directly to Mobility by the benefits payment agency. A standard lease is over three years, or five years if leasing a WAV. For more information visit: www.motability.co.uk or ring 0300 456 4566.
Access Able is provides detailed online and app Access Guides for a variety of venues across the UK. For more information visit: www.accessable.co.uk or ring 01438 842 710