Help to get out and about
There are a number of schemes to help you get out and about in Newcastle:
- blue badge scheme
- concessionary travel pass
- senior railcard
- Motability car scheme
- Nexus TaxiCard scheme
- Hop to the shops
The Blue Badge scheme allows people who have difficulty getting about to park their cars close to the facilities and services that they need to use.
You can apply for a blue badge if you meet one of nine criteria listed in the Blue Badge Scheme.
Critiera includes: registered blind, receipt of PIP, disability, receipt of higher rate of DLA.
If you do not meet the criteria above you will need to be assessed by Newcastle City Council.
How do I apply for a Blue badge?
Contact Blue Badge Scheme at Newcastle City Council.
Apply online at www.gov.uk.
As an older person there are many ways in which you can take advantage of concessionary travel in Tyne and Wear and across the country.
Am I eligible for a Concessionary Travel Pass?
You are eligible for a concessionary travel pass, also known as a free bus pass, once you reach female Pension Age, whether you are a man or a woman.
You can calculate your State Pension age and the age you will get a free bus pass on Gov.uk.
You can apply for a concessionary travel pass if you meet one of the following criteria:
- chronically sick or disabled which permanently and seriously impairs your ability to walk
- blind or partially sighted
- have a learning disability
- profoundly deaf, with or without speech
- do not have the use of both arms, whether through the absence of limbs or otherwise
- unable to drive having had a driving license refused or revoked on medical grounds
Apply through Newcastle City Council.
Disabled Person’s Railcard
The Disabled Person’s Railcard is available to disabled people and provides 1/3 off most rail fares across Britain for you and a companion. You can apply on their website or download an application form to return in the post.
The Senior Railcard is available to anyone aged 60 years old or over and will save you 1/3 of the cost of most rail fares to almost anywhere in Great Britain, including certain fares on various rail/sea journeys.
Motability is a charity which provides mobility solutions for disabled people. This includes help to lease a car, powered wheelchair or scooter.
How do I join the Motability Scheme?
To be eligible for the Motability scheme you must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance
- Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
No waiting lists, credit checks or medical assessments are needed. Even if you don’t drive, you can apply for a car as a passenger and propose two other suitable people as drivers. Parents and carers can also make an application on behalf of a child aged three years old or older.
Nexus provide an accessible travel service in Tyne and Wear called TaxiCard. The TaxiCard scheme is for those who have a disability or impairment that means using public transport is difficult.
What is the TaxiCard?
The TaxiCard is a smartcard which is the same size as a credit card. You use it to pay for part of your journeys by taxi. There are two opportunities each year to join the TaxiCard scheme: in February and August.
You can pay up to £3 (or half your taxi fare if the fare is less than £6) using your TaxiCard. You will then need to pay the rest of the fare yourself.
Newcastle Shopmobility provides battery-powered scooters and wheelchairs for people with mobility issues. This gives you freedom and independence to travel around the city centre; to shop or to use the range of attractions that are available in Newcastle, including Eldon Square, Eldon Gardens, part of Northumberland Street and the Grainger Market. To use the service you need to register as a member.
What do I get as a member of Shopmobility?
Membership costs £25 a year and you do not have to be registered disabled to use it.
Hop to the shops aims to help older people living in Newcastle with their essential food shopping, who otherwise would struggle because they have difficulty using public transport.
The scheme provides a fortnightly minibus service for older people to do their shopping at a supermarket. Minibuses can pick people up from their own homes and there are also pick-up points from various sheltered housing locations around Newcastle.
How much does it cost?
Each journey costs £1.50 so if you are using the minibus to go to the supermarket and back again, it will cost you £3. If you need a carer to accompany you on the trip, they travel for free.
Last updated: July 14, 2020