Listed below is our most up to date information on transport schemes and their eligibility criteria for Lewisham residents.

You can also download/print the information below here: Transport – Factsheet

Accessible Transport in Lewisham for people with a disability and older people

Transport for people using a wheelchair or not able to use regular buses is vital for socialising and getting out and about to see family, friends, go shopping or to a community group or lunch club.

We usually suggest applying for both Taxicard and Dial-A-Ride. There’s less waiting with Taxicard and it operates all hours but it’s easier to get accepted onto Dial-A-Ride and completely free. Both take people using wheelchairs and are best booked in advance. Neither is 100% reliable so unfortunately, you’ll need a backup plan just in case.

Taxicard 

Subsidized use of taxis for people with serious permanent mobility or sight impairment who have difficulty using public transport. There is help from your front door to the cab. Up to 60 or 104 trips a year.

You may be able to join if you: 

  • receive the higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance or the higher rate Attendance Allowance or higher rate PIP (8 points or more on the ‘moving around’ component)
  • are registered blind or receive the War Pension Mobility Component 
  • your GP agrees your application. You may have to have a mobility assessment

The minimum fare cost is £3.50 a trip for journeys up to £9.50 on the meter, which gets you about 2.5 miles. You pay anything over £9.50

Documents needed:

 To apply you need a copy of:

  • valid identification – Passport, Birth Certificate (if you’ve never changed your name), Marriage Certificate, Drivers Licence
  • proof of eligibility (benefits letter/ letter from GP etc)
  • proof of address (last 3 months utilities or council tax bill etc
  • recent passport sized photograph (Community Connections can take this)
  • certificate of Naturalisation
  • HM Forces ID card
  • European identity card
  • asylum registration card or letter

You will also need the one of the following documents as proof of address from within the last 12 months or 3 months if marked with a star:

  • council tax bill or statement
  • tenancy agreement or rent book/statement/letter
  • home/contents insurance document
  • residential utility bill / letter (excluding mobile phone bill) e.g., gas, electricity, phone, water *
  • HM Revenue and Customs letter *
  • letter of entitlement to benefits or pension *
  • domiciliary care bill *

HOW TO APPLY

Application forms can be requested over the phone, by email or online.  

Forms are available via this link:  https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/node/39575 and should emailed to taxicard@londoncouncils.gov.uk or posted back to: London Councils Taxicard Application, Witham House, 45 Spyvee Street, Hull, East Yorkshire HU8 7JR

For more information:

Tel:  0207 934 9791 and select OPTION 2

Email:  taxicard@londoncouncils.gov.uk

Website:  https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/taxicard

 

Dial-A-Ride

Free door-to-door local transport in a mini-bus shared with other people, which means journey times can be longer as other people are picked up on the way. You can request at least one return journey a week. It’s best to book 1-3 days ahead. You can book a regular weekly journey after 6 visits by asking for the Regular Bookings Department. Operating times are between 07.00am and 10.00pm seven days a week.

The driver can help you get from home to vehicle. You can take one person with you to the same address free of charge. Runs from 8am-8pm 7 days a week except bank holidays.

You must have a permanent or long-term disability which means you are unable to use public transport some or all of the time. You can join automatically if you:  

  • are a Taxicard member
  • get the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance  
  • get the Standard or Enhanced Mobility Rate of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 
  • are registered blind or partially sighted
  • aged 85 or over  
  • get a Higher Rate Attendance Allowance
  • get a War Pension Mobility Supplement 

If none of the above apply, you can still join if you have a letter from a health or care professional stating any long-term health conditions and a paper-based mobility assessment will be required to establish your eligibility for the service.

Documents needed:

 To apply you need to be a permanent or temporary resident of a London borough. You can also apply for temporary membership if you can provide evidence of using a similar service at your place of residence.    You will need the following documents:

  • Proof of automatic eligibility
  • Proof of identity
  • If relying on a letter from a professional you will need the following:
  1. written proof from a health or social care professional that you have the mobility problems described on your application that make it difficult or impossible to use general public transport services.
  2. Any documents related to your medical condition/history which can help your application (for example if you take medication, a copy of a prescription for any medication you take)
  3. Confirmation of your medical condition by a health or social care professional eg: district nurse, occupational therapist, social worker or GP (your GP may charge you so you could ask another professional)
  4. Copies of any disability benefits you receive

HOW TO APPLY  –  Application forms can be requested over the phone, by email or online.

Forms are available via this link https://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/dial-a-ride-application-form.pdf and should be emailed to DAR@tfl.gov.uk or posted back to Dial-A-Ride, Assisted Transport Services, PO Box 68799

For more information:

Phone:  0343 222 7777 and select OPTION 3 (charges apply)

Email:  DAR@tfl.gov.uk

Website:  https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/dial-a-ride/

 

Blue Badge Scheme

Blue badges let you park for free in many more streets, without time limits in certain places, either as the driver or passenger. This is for people with a ‘substantial disability’ which makes walking very difficult. You may need an assessment for the badge which will cost up to £10 and is valid for 3 years. 

You’ll need a recent digital photo showing your head and shoulders and a photo or scan of your:

  • proof of identity (such as a birth certificate, passport or driving licence)
  • proof of address (such as council tax bill or government letter)
  • proof of benefits (if you get any)

You’ll also need to know:

  • your National Insurance number (if you have one)
  • the details of your current Blue Badge (if you’re reapplying)

Applications must be made online at https://apply-blue-badge.service.gov.uk/applicant

Help filling out forms

The forms are quite long. You can get help, including by Community Connections Lewisham visiting your home.  If you would like to organise help from Community Connections, please call 0330 058 3464

 

Disabled Persons Freedom Pass

The Freedom Pass gives disabled people free travel on most public transport in London.  If you have a disability, you can apply for a Freedom Pass which offers you:

  • free travel on most public transport at all times
  • free travel on National Rail services within London after 9.30am
  • free travel on local bus services across England.

The Freedom Pass is paid for Lewisham Council and the scheme is managed by London Councils on behalf of all London boroughs.

You can apply for a Freedom Pass if your main residence is in the Lewisham borough and you have any of the following statutory disabilities listed in the Transport Act 2000:

  • people who are blind or partially sighted
  • people who are profoundly or severely deaf
  • people without speech
  • people who have a disability, or have suffered an injury, which has left them with a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to walk
  • people who do not have arms or have a long-term loss of the use of both arms
  • people who have a learning disability that is defined as ‘a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning’
  • people who, if they applied for the grant of a licence to drive a motor vehicle under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988, would have their application refused pursuant to section 92 of the Act (physical fitness) except on the grounds of persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol.

Documents needed:

  1. Proof of identification. We will accept:
  • UK driving licence (paper or photocard)
  • birth certificate if it shows your current name
  • current passport.
  1. Proof of your current address. We will accept:
  • current council tax bill
  • tenancy agreement
  • current TV licence
  • recent (last three months) residential utility bill
  • recent bank / building society / credit card statement
  • recent benefits agency letter, including pension entitlement or occupational pension letter.
  1. Proof of disability. We will accept:
  • a current Disability Living Allowance entitlement letter or PIP entitlement letter
  • a certificate of visual impairment
  • an audiogram
  • a medical letter confirming your disability, treatment and diagnosis.
  1. A current passport-quality head and shoulder picture of the person who requires the pass.

HOW TO APPLY

Apply online using this link https://lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/roads-and-transport/publictransport/transportforpeoplewithdisability/apply-for-a-freedom-pass-for-disabled-people

Further information on the Freedom Pass Website here: https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/freedom-pass/lost-stolen-or-damaged-pass

Address:  PO BOX 4206, CATFORD ROAD, LONDON, SE6 4BR

FREEDOM PASS HELPLINE NO:  0300 330 1433

Email:  info@freedompass.org

Older Persons Freedom Pass

The Older Persons Freedom Pass is valid on all Transport for London buses (in the Greater London area) London Underground (the ‘tube’), Overground and Docklands Light Railway network and London Trams from 9am on weekdays and at any time on weekends and bank holidays.

The pass is also valid on local bus services run by other bus companies which are outside the TfL bus network.

Usually your pass will be valid Monday–Friday 9.30am–11pm and anytime at weekends and on public holidays.

You can travel in Standard Class on most local rail services in London, provided you travel at the following times:

  • Monday–Friday from 9.30am and until 4.30am the following morning
  • weekends and public holidays at any time.

You can apply for an Older Persons Freedom Pass if your sole or principle residence is in London and you meet the age requirement.

Age requirement:  If you were aged 60 or over on the 6th of April 2010 then you automatically qualify for a Freedom Pass. However, as the pension age has moved to 66, the eligibility age for a Freedom Pass has increased to be in line with that.

Documents needed:

Proof of your name and age:

  • Current passport
  • Medical card
  • Birth certificate (unless your name has changed)
  • Current driving licence
  • Letter of state pension entitlement (Please include your date of birth)
  • European ID card

Proof of your residential address in London which must be current or within the last 3 months:

  • Current council tax bill/letter/payment book
  • Current council/housing association rent book/statement/letter/tenancy agreement
  • Current television licence
  • Residential utility bill/Letter (excluding mobile phone bills) dated in the last 3 months
  • HM Revenue and Customs letter dated in the last 3 months
  • Department for Work and Pensions letter dated in the last 3 months
  • Occupational pension letter dated in the last 3 months

PLEASE NOTE BANK LETTERS/STATEMENTS OR MOBILE PHONE BILLS ARE NOT ACCEPTED AS PROOF OF RESIDENCY.

If you pay your bills online, and do not receive paper copies, a printout of your online bill is acceptable.

If you do not provide proof of your name, age or address with your application we will not be able to accept your application for a Freedom Pass.

A colour photo of yourself which must be:

  • Colour and size 45mm x 35mm
  • A current true likeness, showing your full face, facing forward without a hat
  • Taken against a plain, evenly lit and pale coloured background

HOW TO APPLY

Apply online by following this link https://secure.freedompass.org/account/apply

Download the form here https://secure.freedompass.org/download-form and post with all required documents to Freedom Pass Application, PO Box 572, Hull, HU9 9LP

FREEDOM PASS HELPLINE NO  0300 330 1433

Email:  info@freedompass.org

Bus & Tram Discount photocard

If you’re claiming certain benefits, you may get discounted travel on our buses and trams.  The discount is 50% off.

To qualify you must be:

  • Living in a London borough
  • Aged between 18 and 60
  • Getting no other free or discounted travel
  • And, claiming one of these benefits:
  • Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance
  • Jobseekers Allowance for at least 13 weeks
  • Universal Credit for at least 13 weeks, and not earning more than the threshold defined by the Department for Work and Pensions

HOW TO APPLY

  1. Print off an application form, or get one from some London Post Offices and London Jobcentre Plus offices

Bus & Tram discount photocard scheme application form

PDF 4.38MB

  1. On the form, read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Notice
  2. Complete and sign the form
  3. If you claim Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit, you need to get your form validated by your Jobcentre Plus adviser
  4. Take your completed form and proof to a participating Post Office in London

Participating Post Offices in London

PDF 181KB

  1. Staff at the Post Office will check your documents and photographs and issue you with a Bus & Tram Discount photocard

Proof to take with you:

  • Two passport-type photographs – must be a true likeness of you, with your full name written in capitals on the back
  • Proof of identify – one of the following showing your current name:
  • Valid passport or ID card from a European Economic Area country
  • Current, full driving licence
  • Valid bank card
  • Post Office Card Account card
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce, separation or annulment papers
  • NHS medical card
  • Residential utility bill from the last three months (mobile phone bills not accepted)
  • Biometrics Residence Permit
  • Home Office Application Registration Card
  • If you claim Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance, you also need:
  • Your original benefit entitlement letter from the Department for Work and Pensions or Jobcentre Plus, showing your current address.

If your letter is over three months old, you need to show a bank statement from the last three months showing you still receive a benefit.

If your benefit is paid by cheque, bring this with you instead of a bank statement.

Your photocard is valid for six months. When it expires, you can re-apply if you still meet the eligibility criteria.

Community Connections Lewisham Transport Service

This is an accessible and affordable service for Lewisham residents who have difficulty or are unable to use public transport for either / both physical or psychological reasons. The service is open for one off journeys right now and is due to open for regular journeys in the New Year.

  • Volunteer drivers use their own cars to support people to attend college, day centres, medical appointments, community groups
  • Volunteer travel companions can be requested to accompany people to groups, medical appt etc using public transport or other private transport
  • Service can be provided on either a short- or long-term basis (weekly, fortnightly, monthly trips or one off)
  • Please note acceptance of a referral does not always guarantee a journey, although every effort is made to do so. It is always best to give a minimum of 5 days’ notice.
  • All service users must be 18+ and capable of getting into a car with the minimum of assistance.
  • All journeys within Lewisham borough are charged at £10 return. Out of borough journeys will incur additional charges.

For further information or to book a journey with CCL please call 0330 058 3464 / 07927953487. You can also find out more on our webpage here.

Social Services

Social Services can fund transport if you are entitled to help from them, either arranging transport or making a Direct Payment so you can organise it.

Uber Access

Uber Access is our forward-facing wheelchair accessible product. All vehicles are fully wheelchair accessible and available for riders in non-foldable wheelchairs which cannot fit in an UberX vehicle. All Uber Access Partner-drivers have completed a 3-hour disability equality training course, delivered by Transport for All and Inclusion London

Uber Assist

Uber Assist is an option for those who need additional assistance in a standard uberX vehicle. This product is great for older people, riders travelling with assistance animals, those who have visual or hearing impairments, or riders with foldable wheelchairs. All Uber Assist Partner-drivers have completed a 3-hour disability equality training course, delivered by Transport for All and Inclusion London.

Uber X

Riders with foldable wheelchairs or assistance animals can also use UberX. All UberX Private hire and taxi drivers are prohibited by law from discriminating on the basis of a passenger’s disability.

In the case of assistance animals, the only exception is if the driver possesses a medical exemption certificate issued by the local authority. If this is the case the driver should show this to the rider and the rider will be advised to book with another driver.

Riders with foldable wheelchairs can also use UberX. Private hire drivers are required by law to make reasonable efforts to fit the wheelchair in the boot. If this proves impossible, the rider would be advised to book a different vehicle.

To book Uber Access, Uber Assist  

Use the Uber App as you would for any other ride request.  Type in your destination address in the ‘where to’ box, and enter your pick-up point address. Scroll to the bottom and select either ‘ACCESS’ or ‘ASSIST’, depending on what you require.

Other cabs

https://www.transportforall.org.uk/information-advice/travel-information/london/door-to-door/taxis-and-private-hire-vehicles/

Information and Advice

Transport for All is disabled led organisation providing advice and advocacy around accessible transport: https://www.transportforall.org.uk/advice/

 

FOR HELP APPLYING FOR ANY OF THE ABOVE:

If you do not have access to a smart phone or tablet computer or you require assistance to apply for Blue Badge, Dial-A-Ride, Taxicard or Freedom Pass online please contact one of the following venues where staff will be happy to help you.

  • Grove Park Community Library Service, Somertrees Avenue, Grove Park, SE12 0BX, please call 020 8851 3136 for an appointment with Rosalee.
  • New Cross Community Library Service, New Cross Library, 283 285 New Cross Road, SE14 6AS.  Please call 020 8469 0532 for an appointment with Kathy anytime on Wed mornings and from the beginning of February Tues afternoon from 2pm
  • Leemore Centre, Bonfield Road, SE13 5EU For non-English speakers Thursday Hub  10am – 1pm, please call 0800 231 5453 for an appointment
  • Corbett Community Library, Torridon Road, Catford, SE6 1RQ. Monday and Thursday 10.00 – 1.00pm, please call 020 8378 5358 for an appointment.  David Newman and Janet Gainey do all transport applications
  • Simbiosa – Face-to-face form filling support free to Lewisham residents who face financial and or emotional hardship.  Appointments take place in an indoor office space on a nature reserve to be confirmed upon booking. The referral process is simple. If you know of anyone who may benefit and meets the criteria (please see the small print), either share phone number: 07458 034756 or email: info@symbiosia.org.uk

Small print

  • These appointments are intended solely for those experiencing financial or (mental) health hardship. For instance, due to complex needs, caring responsibilities, people with reduced or no access to IT, low command of the English language or limited literacy level, homeless, etc.
  • All appointments are free, though £5 will be charged if a previous appointment is missed.
  • People must be a Lewisham resident, or (homeless) based in Lewisham.

People’s level of hardship is based on self-declaration and their discretion.

 

 

Please note that our team update these factsheets on a quarterly basis. If you would like to suggest any updates, corrections or comments then please contact our Community Development Worker at michael.stuart@ageuklands.org.uk

 

Date of last update: 25th Jan 2023