Travel training gives children and young people with special educational needs the skills and confidence to travel by themselves on public transport.

local offer logo Travelling independently is an important part of your child’s development and that's why we've teamed up with HCT Group to provide this service on our behalf.

HCT Group have trained over 500 people in the last five years to use public transport independently, reducing their reliance on specialist door to door transport and leading to greater social inclusion.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. How does it work?

Your child will be paired up with their own experienced travel trainer.

The trainer will conduct full risk assessments on a safe route to school or college and then accompany your child as they travel on public transport.

On the way, they will pass on skills, hints and tips to help them get ready for making the journey on their own.

The training covers:

  • safe road crossing
  • confidence in using different types of transport
  • how to plan a journey
  • getting to know their route
  • what to do if something goes wrong
  • personal safety
  • using money, oyster cards and tickets.

As their skills develop over time, they will travel more and more of the journey on their own – until they are travelling safely and completely independently.

2. Who is it for?

The travel training programme is for young people who:

  • are aged 11 to 19
  • live in Lambeth
  • currently use specialist transport
  • have an education, health and care plan.

If you or your child doesn't meet this criteria, you can learn to use public transport, free of charge, through the TfL travel mentoring service.

3. Why should your child take part?

Lots of young people are now travelling independently after taking part in the programme.

Parents tell us that their children:

  • feel more confident and independent
  • can go out a lot more with their friends
  • do not have rely on specialist transport or their parents and carers
  • can get onto college courses
  • have a better chance at finding a job
  • do better at school
  • feel safer.

Robert's story

‘Robert is now more chatty, and confident in himself’ explains Robert’s mother. ‘He is less anxious and less tired from being on the school bus so long’.

After completing his travel training, Robert can now not only travel independently to school, he has described being able to cope with travelling in crowds, knowing how to get himself to places and being able to leave later as his journey doesn’t take as long.

When asked about the training, Robert says ‘give it a go, it’s a good idea and better than being on the school bus!’

4. Using this service

If you’d like your child to learn how to travel independently, you can contact your child's school or: