Patient travel information

Information for people travelling to NHS sites for treatment

Getting to our hospitals

For information on how to travel to hospitals in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, please click on the links below. Each page has information on parking availability at the hospital and directions for arriving by car, as well as suggestions for travelling via public transport.

If you are driving into Bristol for a hospital appointment, there are four Park and Ride sites around the city, which are free to park in – you will only need to pay for the bus fare. All four of the sites operate buses into the city centre close to Bristol Royal Infirmary, and the Long Ashton site operates a bus to Southmead Hospital.

Public transport links

There are extensive bus links across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with plenty of buses serving all of our hospital sites. Online journey planners are a useful tool for finding out how you can travel to hospital by bus. The following journey planners show which bus route to take, how long it will take to travel, and online timetables:

North Bristol Trust’s website also features a Personalised Travel Plan for travelling to Southmead Hospital, Cossham Hospital, Frenchay or the Bristol Centre for Enablement. Using this plan, you can put in where you are travelling from, which hospital you are visiting and what time you need to arrive. It offers suggestions for using public transport, the best routes to drive, and available lift shares from people already travelling to the hospital.

There is a free shuttle bus that goes around Bristol City Centre, from Temple Meads to the Bristol Royal Infirmary, on Mondays-Fridays. The service is run by the University Hospitals Bristol charity, Above and Beyond.

Printed copies of bus timetables can be obtained from Tourist Information Centres, libraries and major public transport hubs such as bus stations.

Public transport and accessibility

Information about travelling with a disability in your area can be found through your local council, using the links below. These pages offer advice on public transport accessibility, any help that you may be eligible for, and how to apply.

If you need assistance in travelling on buses, or have some access requirements that public transport staff may need to be aware of, First Bus have a range of “Extra Help” cards and Travelwest also offer a range of “Safe Travel” Cards. These cards can be printed out and given to bus drivers or other public transport staff when you board so that they are aware of your needs and can offer the right assistance.

If you are new to bus travel and unsure about how it works, First Bus have a useful guide for how to find the right bus, purchase a ticket and board the bus. The Travelwest website also features a helpful video and Easy-Read guide to catching the bus.

The First Bus website also offers guidance on travelling with a mobility scooter, wheelchair or assistance dog. The Travelwest website has similar advice for rail travel.

Travel advice at hospital

If you are unsure about how to get home from hospital after an appointment or an unplanned emergency trip, staff at the hospital reception will be able to help you return home as soon as possible. They can offer advice on public transport or taxi companies and direct you to any available quiet waiting spaces.

Community transport services

Information about community transport services available in your area can be found using the link below:

Help with travel costs

You may be able to claim a refund of reasonable travel costs incurred by travelling to hospital, under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme. More information about the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme can be found on the NHS England website. Here you can find out who is eligible for claiming their travel costs back, and how to apply for the scheme.

If you are a Facebook user, the NHS runs a “Help with Health Costs” Facebook group, which offers free advice on claiming money back for your travel costs and easy-to-follow videos on how to complete the relevant forms. You can contact the group via Facebook Messenger and submit any questions or concerns you may have about the process of claiming travel costs back.

Patient transport services

If you cannot use regular transport for medical reasons, patient transport services are available to eligible patients. More infromation on eligibility and how the service can help can be found on our patient transport services page.