Veterans scheme: Free travel on London transport if you receive certain benefits

Updated 20 January 2008
What's this about?

The Veterans Concessionary Travel Scheme (VCTS) allows anyone in reciept of payments under the War Pensions Scheme or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, to travel free on most modes of transport in London, throughout the week. Eligibilty includes war widows/widowers and dependents getting these benefits too.

This scheme (administered via an Oyster photocard) is especially good for veterans under 60 and anyone who qualifies but lives outside London, as they can't get a Freedom Pass.

What benefits do I get?

You can hop on any Transport for London (TfL) bus within the capital, at any time, completely free. Non-TfL buses with London routes will usually allow free travel between 9:30 and 23:00 during the week and all day weekends/bank holidays.

Travel on the tube and overground is free at any time too, though only up to certain stations outside the greater London zones. A list of these are on on TfL's website.

You can also use National Rail trains on certain routes, though travel can't be earlier than 9:30 during the week'll have to cough up the full fare before then. But there's free reign at any time on weekends.

How to apply

You should've received an application pack already but, if not, you can easily claim your free travel by calling the VCTS helpline on 0845 331 9872 and requesting an application form. You'll then need to complete and return it with:
  • A passport size photo
  • A photocopy of your Awards Notification or annual uprating letter from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA), showing your entitlement to an ongoing payment under the War Pensions Scheme or Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
Even if you don't live in London, it's definately worth applying for a card just in case to do make a trip at some point.

Anything else worth knowing?

For free help and advice on all veterans issues check out Veterans UK .

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