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Edinburgh sight loss support directory: travel and transport

Thistle assistance card and app

Thistle assistance is an initiative to help you feel safer and more comfortable when using public transport.

You may prefer more time to get to your seat. You may like your driver to speak more slowly and clearly. Thistle assistance’s card and app let transport staff know in an easy and subtle way what extra support you’d like.

The thistle assistance card and app are recognised by many public transport operators across Scotland, from buses and trains to planes and ferries. Simply show your personalised card or app to their staff and they will understand what additional assistance you require.

For more information visit the thistle assistance website.


National Entitlement Card

The National Entitlement Card (NEC) offers free or cheaper travel to young people, older people and people with a disability.

Young people

For young people the NEC card is the same as the Young Scot card.

If you are 11 to 15, it proves you are entitled to a child fare on buses, trains and trams.

If you are 16 to 18 or you are 19 to 25 and a full time volunteer, it gives you one third off travel in Scotland, except on trams.

60 and over

The NEC card entitles you to free bus travel across Scotland, and also on trams if your card was issued by the City of Edinburgh Council.

People with a disability

Your card will give you free bus travel across Scotland, and also trams if your card was issued by the City of Edinburgh Council.

If your card has a C+ symbol it allows a companion to travel free with you.

People with visual impairments can get free train and cheaper ferry travel. Visit the Transport Scotland website to find out more.

For more information about the NEC including details of how to apply visit the National Entitlement Card website.


Disabled Persons Railcard

If you have a hearing or visual impairment you can get a Disabled Person’s Railcard (£20 for one year or £54 for three years). The railcard gives you a 1/3 off train travel and discounts at some restaurants and hotels.

  • The railcard discount is valid at any time of the day, no time restrictions
  • If you have someone travelling with you, they can get the discount too

For more information, including details of eligibility, visit the Disabled Persons Railcard website.


Transport for Edinburgh app

The official app for Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams providing live departure times, live progress of your journey and service updates and alerts.

The app is available on Android and Apple.


Passenger Assistance app

An app that takes the time and fuss out of requesting assistance when you want to travel by train. By using the app you can create a profile where you can outline your accessibility needs and easily make a request to book assistance.

The app is available on Android and Apple.

Please note: You do not have to use the app to book assistance; you can still phone the train company or use their website form if you prefer.


Find more information and contacts for services across Edinburgh by selecting from the options below.

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