Travel concessions for disabled people


Concessionary travel gives free or discounted trips on public transport to eligible disabled people and older people living in Scotland. This information guide outlines the main travel concessions available, eligibility and how to apply. Concessions apply to buses, trains, ferries and some coach services.

National Entitlement Card (NEC)

The National Entitlement Card (NEC) gives free or discounted access to most types of public transport. Scottish residents aged 60 and over can travel for free on most local and national bus services in Scotland. You may also be entitled to free rail travel.

The National Entitlement Card doesn’t just offer national transport concessions but some Scottish councils are now using the card for other services such as library/leisure memberships, cashless catering in schools and taxi travel for disabled people.

Eligibility Criteria for disabled people

If you are a resident in Scotland, aged 5 or over and meet one of the following criteria, you are entitled to free bus travel with the National Entitlement Card:

  • you receive the higher rate of mobility component of Disabled Living Allowance
  • you receive the higher/middle rate of care component of Disabled Living Allowance
  • you receive the standard or enhanced rate of Personal Independence Payment
  • you receive Attendance Allowance
  • you live in a care/residential home or hospital and are eligible for the higher or middle rate of the care component of DLA, PIP or AA.
  • you are a Blue Badge holder
  • you are profoundly or severely deaf
  • you have a visual impairment
  • you have been told not to drive based on medical grounds
  • you have a mental illness, learning disability or personality disorder that is recognised under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and has lasted for more than a year. You must be required to need to travel to and from appointments for treatment and your ability to travel is affected by your diagnosis
  • you have a terminal illness
  • you have a progressive degenerative condition
  • you have lost one or more limbs
  • you are an injured veteran with mobility problems
  • you receive a War Pensioner Mobility Supplement

In most cases, you will be asked to provide proof of evidence to confirm your eligibility, such as a benefit or blue badge award letter.

Companion entitlement 

If you need a companion to help you use public transport your National Entitlement Card will allow them to travel for free if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • you receive the higher or middle rate of the care component of Disabled Living Allowance
  • you receive the standard or enhanced rate of daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • you receive Attendance Allowance
  • you are registered blind
  • you live in a care or residential home and receive the higher or middle rate of the care component Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance
  • you receive War Pensions Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Transitional Provisions
    If you have a free bus pass or a companion card and you are assessed for Personal Independence Payment but don’t qualify for it you can keep your card until it expires.

    People with a visual impairment

    Your National Entitlement Card gives you free bus travel, but if you are blind or have a visual impairment, you are also entitled to use your card to access concessions on train, Edinburgh tram and ferry travel.

    Ferry Concessions 

    Residents of the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland who have a National Entitlement Card can also get two free return ferry journeys to the mainland each year. The vouchers are valid throughout the year for travel as a foot-passenger.
    When you apply for your National Entitlement Card your local authority will also send your ferry vouchers. They’ll also send new vouchers before April 1st. Vouchers are valid until March 31st the following year.

How to apply for a National Entitlement Card

Contact your Local Authority or Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) to apply for your National Entitlement Card. Find your local concessionary contact at the Transport Scotland

You will need:

  • a recent photograph
  • proof of age or disability
  • proof of your current address

Renewing or replacing your National Entitlement Card

If you have a disability your local council or Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) may be in touch 4-6 weeks before the card runs out. If you don’t hear from them or need assistance renewing your card, contact your local authority.

If you have lost or had your National Entitlement Card stolen then you should contact your local authority. If you are moving home to different local authority area then you need to inform your previous local authority as soon as possible.

Disabled Persons Railcard

If you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult you might qualify for the Disabled Persons Railcard. This railcard allows you to get 1/3 off most rail fares throughout Great Britain. If you are travelling with an adult companion they can also get 1/3 off their rail fare. The Disabled Persons Railcard costs £20 for a one year card and £54 for a three year card.


You are eligible if:

  • you are registered as having a visual impairment
  • you are registered as deaf or use a hearing aid
  • you have epilepsy and either: have repeated attacks even though you receive drug treatment; or are currently prohibited from driving because of your epilepsy
  • you receive Attendance Allowance
  • you receive Personal Independence Payment
  • you receive Disability Living Allowance at either higher or lower rate for mobility; or the higher or middle rate for care
  • you receive Severe Disablement Allowance
  • you receive Was Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
  • you are buying/leasing a vehicle through the Motability scheme

How to apply for a Disabled Persons Railcard

You can only buy a Disabled Persons Railcard by post.

You can download an application from the website at the Disabled Persons Railcard website, or you can contact the Disabled Persons Railcard Office.
Tel: 0345 605 0525

If you are not eligible for the Disabled Persons Railcard, there are other discounted fares for visually-impaired people or wheelchair users. Ask for details at your nearest staffed National Rail station ticket office.

Senior Railcard

With a Senior Railcard anyone 60 years or over can save 1/3 on all Standard and First Class, Anytime, Off-Peak and Advance fares. It costs for £30 for 1 year or £70 for 3 years.  You can purchase a railcard at any manned station or online at the Senior Railcard website.

Railcard renewals

Disabled Persons Rail Card renewal

Disabled Persons Railcard website 
Tel: 0345 605 0525
Textphone/minicom renewals:  0345 601 0132

Download the application form from the Disabled Persons website and post it to:
Disabled Persons Railcard, PO Box 6613, Arbroath, DD11 9AN

Senior Railcard

A railcard can be renewed up to one month in advance of the expiry date. If you are renewing for one year then you can do it online, over the telephone or in a station. If you are renewing the railcard for 3 years then you can do it online or the telephone.

Senior Railcard 
Tel: 0345 3000 250
Post: National Railcards, PO BOX, 6616, Arbroath DD11 9AR

Coach Travel

There is no national coach concessionary scheme at present, but some coach operators offer discounts. For example, National Express offer a Senior Coachcard for people who are 60 years or over. A similar card called Disabled Coach card is available for people with a disability.

The cards allow you to save 1/3 on standard fares for a cost of £12.50 a year (plus £2.50 postage and packaging). You can purchase a coach card on the National express website:

Buy a Senior coachcard

Buy a Disabled coachcard 

Or you can buy from any from any of the National Express coach stations, or by calling them on 0871 781 8181

Community Transport schemes

If you are disabled, can’t use ordinary public transport, and do not have access to a car, there are community transport schemes that you may be able to use such as Dial-a-Ride and Taxi-card. Contact your local council to see what community transport schemes are available within your area and how you can apply.

If you need any guidance with this then call our helpline on: 0300 323 9961

Further information and useful contacts

Concessionary Travel and Integrated Ticketing Unit:
Tel: 0141 272 7170
Transport Scotland website

National Entitlement Card Programme
Disabled Persons Railcard
Tel: 0345 605 0525

Information last updated on 5 June 2020. Please note that information may be subject to change. All information is provided in good faith but Disability Information Scotland does not endorse any product or service referred to within this resource.

If you would like this information guide in another version then please contact us and we will post or email you a copy.

Mobility, Travel and Transport:Frequently Asked Questions

Through our helpline we receive enquiries spanning a wide range of different topics. Here is a selection of those most asked:

Can I get a reduction of Vehicle Excise Duty?

How do I get a bus pass entitlement card?

How can I get a disabled parking space outside my house?

How to I get a Blue Badge for parking?

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