What support is available for planning a bus journey?

Contact your local council or local bus service providers and find out as much information as possible about your journey before you travel. You can find the details of your local council on the GOV.uk website, your local bus operator can be found on the Traveline website.

Ask them for details such as:

  • Is there a travel centre in my area? Some local bus operators and councils run travel centres where you can drop in and find out about local services
  • How will I be able to identify local buses and bus stops?
  • How do I pay for my journey? Do I need to pay beforehand or have the exact money? Can I pay by debit card or using my smart phone? Are there any concessions I’m entitled to?
  • Do you provide travel support cards? These are credit card sized and you can show them to the driver as you board to alert them that you need help
  • What information is available about bus routes, timetables and the location of bus stops? And is any of it available in a format I can read?
  • Are there any services available to me, as someone with sight loss, which will help me use local bus services? This might include travel mentoring schemes where bus operators offer familiarisation sessions for people with disabilities, audio announcements at bus stops or on the buses themselves.

Timetables, live information and journey planners

There are a number of smartphone apps and websites that can help you plan your journey, such as:

  • City Mapper (London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and Newcastle)
  • Traveline (Great Britain)
  • Translink NI (Northern Ireland only)
  • Bus Checker (UK) reads out when your next bus is due to arrive
  • Arriva (UK) shows your nearest bus stop, what buses are at that stop and when they are due to arrive. You can also plan journeys and work out what time you will get to your destination
  • Moovit (world wide) gives you automatic notifications on when to get on and off the bus and gives you live step by step guidance along your route
  • NextBuses (Scotland, England and Wales) search by postcode, street and town or bus stop name and town to get a live ETA on buses and view bus routes
  • Stagecoach Bus (Great Britain) a free to use app that allows you to plan, see and check when your bus will arrive. It'll give you the option to pay for your ticket before you board, save your favourite your journeys or bus service and includes a interactive map. It covers all areas of the UK where stagecoach is the operator.

Travel Assistance

Some travel operators offer free escorted assistance that you can pre book before travel. You will be met at a pre arranged place and escorted to your bus, you will then be met at your destination and provided with assistance to continue your journey. Contact your transport operator to check if this service is available.

Please also see Can I get any travel discounts or cheaper fares?

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