access, transport & parking
Families with disabled children and young people need to plan outings and journeys with care. This page tells you about the kinds of help you can get with transport and parking, and where to get information about access.
But you may be able to get more detailed accessibility information – pubs, walks, shops that are accessible, for example – from local or national disability charities or access groups.
Possability People’s website contains an Accessible City Guide giving information on accessible accommodation, transport, restaurants, bars, clubs, shops or attractions in Brighton & Hove, as well as information on accessible parking in the city.
Families in East and West Sussex can get lots of information about accessible places and spaces at Accessible Countryside
Disabled Go is a website with access information for many other towns around the country. Also you may be able to get a RADAR key to open accessible public toilets – contact the council or Disability Rights UK.
Remember, it is always worth checking with the place you are going to beforehand, because information does get out of date, and sometimes the level of access described can be misleading.
Brighton & Hove City Council’s website has lots of information on accessibility in the city:
- accessible parks and green spaces in Brighton & Hove
- beach accessibility in Brighton & Hove
- accessible toilets in Brighton & Hove
There’s an accessible walkway for wheelchairs in front of the lifeguard station near King Alfred Leisure Centre car park in Hove. You can also book special beach wheelchairs from the Seafront Office on 01273 292716.
East Sussex County Council’s website has a page with useful links to information about accessible walks and woodland in East Sussex.
Both Brighton and Hove and East Sussex have some Changing Places toilets for people with more significant disabilities who need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. Find the Changing Places toilets in your area.
The Blue Badge scheme entitles the holder to parking concessions to make it easier to park closer to your destination. You can use it in anybody’s car, but it belongs to the child or young person and is there to help them rather than the rest of the family. It is usually valid for three years.
Your local council administers the scheme and applies strict criteria. Children are unlikely to get a Blue Badge if they are under two unless they have a medical condition that means they need to travel with bulky medical equipment or be close to a vehicle for emergency medical treatment. For children over two, it will depend on the degree of their disability. They will normally qualify automatically if they are receiving the higher rate of the mobility part of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or score 8 points or more under the ‘moving around’ activity of the mobility component of PIP, or are registered blind. Read more about Disability Living Allowance.
Contact your local council to apply
If your child has problems with getting around and has a Blue Badge, you may be entitled to a disabled parking bay outside your house as long as you do not already have off-street parking. Ask for a form from the Highways department at Brighton & Hove City Council. It’s important to note that, although it will be outside your house, the parking bay is available for use by anyone who has a Blue Badge.
Motability is a charity set up to help disabled people and parents of disabled children buy or lease a car. Your child must quality for the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA or the enhanced rate of the mobility component of PIP and have at least 12 months of their award left to run. You can also use the scheme to lease an electric wheelchair. For details of the schemes, ring Motability on 0300 456 4566 or visit their website at www.motability.co.uk.
The local authority should provide free transport if your child is aged 5 to 16 and you live too far (over two miles for under 8s, over three miles for over 8s) from their nearest suitable school. There are extra rules for help with transport if you are on a low income. ‘Free transport’ can mean a bus pass to use local bus services. Occasionally primary age children will get transport to school if their parents are medically unfit to take them.
Children can also qualify for free transport if they are unable to walk to school due to their particular disability or special educational need. In this case they are more likely to get actual transport such as a taxi or minibus. Find out more about home to school transport for school age children with SEND.