Travel benefits for veterans
The Joining Forces programme has now ended
Joining Forces was an Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust supported programme in partnership with SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. It was delivered by 12 local projects across England by local Age UKs and SSAFA branches. After 3 successful years, the programme has now ended. Many of the pages in this section will still be useful for information and advice. Alternatively, you can look at the relevant sections of the Age UK website.
There are several travel concessions and benefits available to veterans, including the Veterans Concessionary Travel Scheme Pass, the Veterans Oyster Card, and the Blue Badge Scheme for disabled parking.
Veterans Concessionary Travel Scheme (VCTS) Pass
Who can apply for the Pass?
Anyone receiving ongoing payment under the War Pensions Scheme or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (including war widows/widowers and eligible dependents) is entitled to receive a Veterans Concessionary Travel Scheme (VCTS) Pass. The Veterans Concessionary Travel Pass is only issued once the application form has been received. The Pass is issued as an Oyster photocard.
Where can I use the Pass?
London Fare Zones 1–6, plus stations Rickmansworth to Amersham inclusive and stations Carpenders Park to Watford Junction inclusive on participating Train Company services. The Pass also includes London Underground, DLR, London Trams and most bus services in the Greater London area.
Participating train operators:
- Chiltern Railways
- Great Northern
- Great Western Railways
- Greater Anglia
- Heathrow Connect (between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington only)
- London Midland (but not between Harrow & Wealdstone and Watford Junction)
- London Overground
- SouthEastern (but not on High Speed services)
- Southern (but not between Harrow & Wealdstone and Watford Junction)
- South Western Railway
For more information on the VCTS Pass, including time restrictions and how to get a replacement pass, visit the National Rail website.
Veterans Oyster Card
With a Veterans Oyster photocard you can travel free on bus, tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services in London.
Am I eligible?
You may be eligible for a Veterans Oyster photocard if you're:
- Receiving ongoing payments - in your name - under the War Pensions Scheme: this includes widows, widowers and dependants
- Receiving Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme - in your name: this includes widows, widowers and dependants
Ongoing payments are awarded to service personnel who have sustained a certain level of physical or psychological injury in the line of duty. If you received a one-off gratuity payment instead of ongoing payments, then you're not eligible for a Veterans Oyster photocard. If you live in London and are eligible for a 60+ London Oyster photocard or a Freedom Pass, you won't be eligible for a Veterans Oyster photocard; the 60+ London Oyster photocard and the Freedom Pass give exactly the same travel benefits as the Veterans Oyster photocard.
For more information on the Veterans Oyster Card, visit the TFL website.
Blue Badge Scheme
You may be eligible for a Blue Badge if you are a disabled veteran or a member of the Armed Forces.