Accessible Travel

If you’re struggling to attend clubs or appointments or just get out and about,  you might find a solution which works for you in the information below.

You might be able to pay less or travel free on public transport if you:

  • are an older or disabled traveller.
  • live in a more remote community in Scotland.

How to apply for a bus pass

The pass is called a National Entitlement Card.

Find out how to apply in your area by contacting your local council or Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT). You’ll also need to send evidence.

Find contact details you need to apply for a National Entitlement Card on the Transport Scotland website here.

Check what evidence you need to apply for a National Entitlement Card on the Transport Scotland website here.

Replacing your National Entitlement Card

If your National Entitlement Card was issued because you’re aged 60 or over, it won’t have an expiry date.

If your card was issued because you’re disabled, it will have an expiry date. You’ll need to provide current evidence when you apply for a replacement card.

If your card is lost, stolen or damaged you should contact your local council or SPT to ask for a new one.

Find the contact details to replace your National Entitlement Card on the Transport Scotland website here.

Where you can use your bus pass

Your National Entitlement Card is your bus pass. It gives you the same rights as a full-fare paying passenger.

You can use it to travel in Scotland on almost all local and long-distance bus services. You can use it for as many journeys as you want and it can even be used on some short train journeys,  check here to see if this applies in your area.

You cannot use your bus pass on some services, such as premium-fare night buses and city sightseeing buses.

Free bus travel for a companion

You can get free bus travel for a companion if you cannot travel alone because you’re disabled. You can apply for this at the same time as a card for yourself.

Your companion does not have to be the same person every time you travel, but they have to be over 5 years of age.

You’ll need proof that you’re not able to travel alone like your benefit award letter or a copy of your blind registration certificate.

You can get more information about travelling with a companion here.

You can apply for free companion travel when you apply for your bus pass.

Traveline Scotland can advise you on public transport in Scotland. Phone 0871 200 22 33.

Transport Scotland is the national transport agency for Scotland.

Thistle Assistance

The Thistle Assistance card and app are recognised by many public transport operators across Scotland, from buses and trains to planes and ferries. Simply show your personalised card or app to their staff and they will understand what additional assistance you require.

Young Persons’ (Under 22s) Free Bus Travel

All young people and children aged 5-21 years can apply for a card to access the Young Persons’ (Under 22s) Free Bus Travel Scheme, which began on 31 January 2022.

If you cannot get a bus

If you’re unable to get a bus and need help with transport, for example – to get to a doctors appointment – community transport options may be available to you.

Community transport

Community Transport Map of Scotland

Find accessible transport services and support for disabled people in your local area with the Community Transport Association’s new interactive map of Community Transport in Scotland. It features over 170 providers across the country, from community bus services and dial-a-ride to health transport and collection/delivery services.


Dial-a-Journey is a door to door transport service for people who have a mobility problem, and who cannot use conventional public transport. The service is provided and fares subsidised within the operating areas of Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils.

HcL (Dial-a-Ride & Dial-a-Bus)

HcL provide Dial-a-Ride and Dial-a-Bus services for people in Edinburgh and the Lothians.


MyBus is a bookable bus service offering door-to-door transport in a number of areas across Scotland.

Train travel

You can find information about concessionary travel schemes on the National Rail website.

If travelling by train is difficult because you’re disabled, you might be eligible to buy a Disabled Persons Railcard.

Disabled Persons Railcard

If you have the Disabled Persons Railcard you can get:

  • 1/3 off most rail fares throughout Great Britain.
  • 1/3 off an adult companion’s rail fare.

The Disabled Persons Railcard costs £20 for a 1-year card, or £54 for a 3-year card.

You can find out how to apply on the Disabled Persons Railcard website.

If you’re disabled but don’t have a railcard

There are other concessionary discounts on fares available for registered blind and partially sighted people or wheelchair users who do not have a Disabled Persons Railcard:

  • 34% off first class, or standard anytime singles or returns
  • 34% off first class, or standard anytime day single
  • 50% off first class, or standard anytime day return.

Local concessionary schemes

You should check with your local council if there are any special travel schemes available in your area. Some local councils fund special travel schemes for particular groups in the community. This would be in addition to the National Entitlement Card.

Some local councils run Taxi Card schemes for people with severe mobility difficulties, who cannot use public transport, to be able to use taxis at a reduced rate.

In some areas, you can’t have both a National Entitlement Card and a Taxi Card.


Taxi Card schemes offer reduced fare taxi and train travel to those who cannot use buses because of severe physical disability or infirmity.

Contact your local council to see if there’s a Taxi Card scheme in your area and if you’re eligible.


If you hold a Scottish National Entitlement Card, issued by the City of Edinburgh Council, you can travel for free on Edinburgh trams. Scottish National Entitlement Cards that were not issued by Edinburgh Council are not valid on tram services, unless you are blind or visually impaired.

Visit the Transport for Edinburgh website for further information on travelling by tram in Edinburgh.


If you’re able to, book your coach travel in advance. This will give the transport provider more time to meet your needs.  National Express offer discounts for disabled customers.  Find out more here.

Accessible Vehicle and Blue Badge schemes

If you’re eligible for a bus or rail pass, you might also be able to get:

  • a car, scooter or powered wheelchair from the Mobility Scheme.
  • a Blue Badge – to help you or someone who drives you around park more conveniently.

You might be entitled to more concessions if you have a Blue Badge, such as exemption from road tax.

You can find out more about the Blue Badge scheme.

This advice applies to Scotland. See advice for England, Northern Ireland, Wales

Thanks to Citizens Advice Scotland and for the above information. (Nov 2023)