Travel support for children and young people with SEND

Travel support for children and young people with SEND

Support, schemes and help available to travel in Bristol and beyond.

Help is available to make your child’s travels cheaper. There are services which will allow anyone with a disability to move around and beyond the city more independently.

Travel to school and college

Most children get to school with their parents or carers, or on their own if they’re older. This may not be possible for some children with special educational needs and disabilities because:

  • their school is too far away
  • they’re unable to walk
  • they’re not able to use public transport in the same way as other children

We can support travel arrangements for these children. The home to school travel support page explains how children can get travel support.

We can help your child go to the nearest suitable school by:

  • refunding your travel expenses such as petrol
  • providing a bus pass
  • providing a school bus, minibus or taxi service
  • providing an escort to walk your child to school

Some colleges and voluntary organisations offer travel training to help young people over 16 to use public transport independently. Their suitability for travel training will be assessed before a decision is made. 

If you choose to send your child to a school that isn’t the nearest suitable one, you’ll usually be responsible for travel arrangements and costs.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, it'll have information about travel arrangements.

If your child doesn’t have an EHC plan, we’ll need to see evidence of your child’s special education needs (SEN) or physical disability. This can be a letter from a medical professional.

Reassessment of travel support

When your child is 16, we’ll reassess their needs. You’ll then need to reapply every year until they’re 19.

We may extend your child’s arrangements until the school year of their 25th birthday, if it takes them longer to complete their education or training programme.


You can apply for:

Community transport

There’s a range of community transport services available to people with disability, such as Bristol Dial-a-Ride and Shopmobility.


Your child may qualify for a Disabled persons rail card that can get you a third off rail travel throughout the country.


There are opportunities for disabled people to get started or join a group:

  • Get Cycling is a charity that provides cycles and support to special schools, individuals and community groups
  • the Family Cycling Centre runs sessions during holidays for disabled cyclists
  • Wheels for All is a programme that helps children and adults with disabilities to cycle


You can find advice, support and schools offering lessons for people with a disability if your child wants to drive:

You must tell the DVLA if you have a disability or if your condition changes. Drivers with a disability can claim disability exemption when applying for road tax and get toll concessions in some instances.

Disabled parking: Blue Badges

You can apply for a Blue Badge to help you park closer to your destination or get white lines for a disabled parking space near your home.


All Hackney Carriage taxis in Bristol are accessible. There is no charge for assistance dogs or carrying wheelchairs.

Safe Places

You can sign your child scheme to Safe Places if you’re worried about them travelling alone, or if they feel anxious when out. The scheme gives them a safe place to go.

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