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Low Vision Resource Symbol

If you are losing or have lost your sight, you might start finding things difficult that you previously took for granted.  You may require practical support and advice to help you get around independently and safely, whether you're going to your local shops, travelling to the hospital or visiting a friend.

 

There are a number of services and schemes that help with many aspects of getting around, depending on your levels of sight and eligibility.

 

Driving

One impact that a visual impairment may have is affecting your ability to drive safely and legally. You must inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and your insurance company of your condition – it's a criminal offence not to tell them. For more information about driving, contact the DVLA by telephoning 0300 790 6806 or visiting their website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-licensing-agency

 

Walking

If you are finding it difficult to get around and negotiate your local area, you may be able to access support with this. If you contact your local authority they may be able to offer training for independent travel, including using a cane and how to plan routes. These are:

 

Bristol City Council – Telephone: 0117 922 2700

Bath and North East Somerset Council – Telephone: 01225 396 000

South Gloucestershire Council – Telephone: 01454 868 007


Buses

Blind and Partially Sighted Bus Pass – If you have a visual impairment you are entitled to free off-peak travel on local buses anywhere in England. The times at which you can use the bus pass may vary between local authorities. Contact your local authority for information on how to apply.


Trains

If you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult you might qualify for the Disabled Persons Railcard. The Disabled Persons Railcard allows you to get 1/3 off most rail fares throughout Great Britain. If you're travelling with an adult companion, they can also get 1/3 off their rail fare. The Railcard costs £20 for a one-year Railcard and £54 for a three-year Railcard. For more information contact Disabled Person Railcard by telephoning 0845 605 0525 or visiting their website at http://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk

 

Parking

The Blue Badge Scheme provides a national arrangement for on-street parking concessions if you have severe walking difficulties or you're registered as "severely sight impaired". Arranged by your local authority, the Scheme allows you to park closer to your destination. You can contact the Blue Badge Helpline by telephoning either 020 7944 2914 or 0161 367 0009, or by sending an email to: blue.badge@dft.gsi.gov.uk

 
Coach Travel

If you have a concessionary bus pass and are travelling on an ‘economy day’ on a National Express Coach, and you book your travel at least one day in advance, you will receive a 50% discount off an Adult Single, Day Return or Economy Return fare. Visit the website http://www.nationalexpress.com for more details.


Community Transport Schemes

Community transport schemes provide door-to-door, fully accessible transport services to disabled and older people who are unable to use public transport because of mobility or communication impairments. To find out about your local scheme, you can call the following numbers:

Bristol Community Transport on 0117 902 0157

Bath and North East Somerset Community Transport on 01225 832 317

Dial A Ride Kingswood on 0117 961 6016

Community Transport Services – Yate, Sodbury and District on 01454 228 706

Four Towns and Vale Link Community Transport on 01454 868 529


Or go to the Well Aware homepage at www.wellaware.org.uk and enter “community transport” into the search box.

 

Support Organisations

Finally, here are some general organisations that offer advice and support on accessing mobility and transport:

 

Action for Blind People

Telephone: 0117 9537750

www.actionforblindpeople.org.uk


Guide Dogs

Telephone: 0845 372 7404

www.guidedogs.org.uk


Community Transport Association

Telephone: 0161 351 1475

www.ctauk.org