Carers Pay to travel in London

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Hiya all. Not sure if I'm posting this in the right place on the forum.

I've been taking bro (who I care for) in his wheelchair on the tube and buses lately in London and it's struck me how much I'm actually spending on my oyster card to support him. Does anyone know why in London carers have to pay when they are supporting a disabled person who couldn't travel otherwise?

I recently met someone who said that in Luton disabled people have a 'C' on the luton version of the freedom pass which meant that a carer could travel free with them. I googled Luton to have a look about their eligibility and it says on their website:

"If an entitled person finds it impossible to travel independently he or she may apply to the Council for a companion permit which will allow both the permit holder and a companion to travel together free of charge within the Luton conurbation."

I honestly don't understand why this isn't the case in London.

Us carers do such a hard job and get very little in terms of carers allowance and the income support top up ... less than minimum wage. Less than 100 quid a week. I am so shocked that we have to pay additionally to support the person we care for travel if they can't do this independently. I'm sure vital assistance dogs go free, wheelchairs go free, glasses go free, etc ... I just can't understand why vital / essential carers don't in London.
Hello BigSister

I'm pretty sure that the companions free travel pass is at the discretion of the local authorities, so the best place to start is with them. (It's generally called a 'companion' pass not a 'carers' pass)

If you can't find anything on their website then contact the Carers UK Adviceline team who should be able to give you further information.
Need expert advice? You can talk to the Carers UK Adviceline five days a week, no matter where you are in the UK or how complex your query is. We do benefits checks and advise on financial and practical matters related to caring.

0808 808 7777
advice@carersuk.org
Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm

The Carers UK Adviceline also includes a listening service, there for you to talk through your caring situation with a trained volunteer who understands what you are going through. Available Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9am to 7pm
.

If you can’t get through on the phones (lines are often oversubscribed) then send them an email, they’ll usually get back to you within 3-5 working days.
Hey. I've spoken to my local authority before (including the head of the council) and apparently it's a Transport for London issue. I've written to the Mayor of London too and they haven't really answered the question ... apart from saying that Carers can get reduced fares on trains.

I'm just at a bit of a loss as to why a carer / companion should have to pay when they're essential for the disabled persons journey.

I'll try and contact carers uk at some point about this. I've spoken to my local carers centre too and they have said they don't do carers / companion passes in our area. When I mentioned Luton (who seem to have got it right) they said that that sounded like a better system.

The Leader of our council had said it was a funding decision and a london transport decision. I just can't understand how they can fund a freedom pass for a disabled person but not include a companion on that card when they're essential to that journey.

Just confused by it really.
If there is no caree , there would be no need for a carer.

A partnership.

Transport policy. Allow one partner reduced / free transport costs and not the other ?

The person in the wheelchair goes free but the pusher ( The carer ) has to pay ?

About time our supporting organisations looked at this issue under possible discrimination law ?
I've complained to the Equality Commission about this, without much luck, clearly not interested in LD problems. My son can't use the bus without someone with him, as he can't read bus timetables and or where the bus goes. He has highest Mobility PIP as a result. He has a Companion bus pass which he can use County wide, only he lives right in a corner, with three other authorities in a 10 mile radius. He gets free travel for himself and the carer into a different authority, but not, generally on the return journey. However, we have found that the machines which read the pass can't tell who issued the pass, so as well as using it in Hampshire we've use it in Shropshire, Kent, Bristol etc. etc. especially with the Park and Ride.
Down to the supporting organisations on this one.

They purport to have clout whereas what chance for an individual carer ?

Time to empty a few half full collection tins and spend a few pennies ... if they are in the tins as opposed
to numerous foreign ones ?

I am willing to bet £ 10 against each £ 1 bet that , if asked , the disability supporting organisations would be only too willing to back one of our outfits as their own members would also benefit.

And , how many carers would benefit ???????????
Email sent to the Freedom Pass section of London Transport on the subject of concessions for carers.

I will post their reply on this thread.

Hopefully , not duplicating anything Carers UK are now doing ?
A reply :

My question ?

Disabled person in a wheelchair , being pushed by his adult son who is a carer in receipt of
carers allowance.

Disabled person .... travel concession facility. The pusher / the carer .... ???

What concessions are available to carers , some 700.00 in London alone ? ( Major of london Office estimates ).

Some travel into London on reduced fares , in London ?


Their reply ?

Good afternoon,

Thank you for your email.

In response to your query, unfortunately the Freedom Pass only entitles the pass holder to free travel, a carer would not be entitled to a discount.

I would suggest contacting Transport for London on 0343 222 1234 as they may have discounts available for carers.


Quick check of the Transport for London site only lists Freedom Pass as being a likely area.

Ever decreasing circles springs to mind ?

At this stage , I would advise Carers UK to get involved on behalf of all carers.

On the figures provide by London Transport , doubled the number of carers who are likely to benefit
under the provisions of The Care Act ( Government figures ).

Having gained concessions for London , the rest of the UK should be easier ?

Food for thought ????

Officialdom ? Right up their street but not mine !
I am certain you need to go to your local authority, whichever borough it is. I am not certain they can help, unfortunately. I don't think there's any point writing to the Freedom Pass department, because they only issue Freedom Passes. Of course complain to MP etc., but in the short term the LA seems most likely to advise.
I believe that companion passes are issued by our LA as a "reasonable adjustment" so those people who couldn't use a bus without a pass are not disadvantaged, as required by the Equality Act. However, it's a patchy scheme. By all means write to your LA, but I do think challenging it legally through the Equality legislation would be better. The person I wrote to clearly didn't understand that some people couldn't read write or handle their own money, and was best described as totally disinterested. Not sure where the correspondence is right now.
125 posts