free bus travel with a bus pass

Focusing on Bus Passes, -Concessionary Fares - in England, Scotland, Wales & N. Ireland and on wider issues affecting pensioners and disabled people

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The downside of means testing

Bus Passes for pensioners, Freedom Passes, Metro Passes, "English National Concession Ticket Scheme" (ENCTS), NOWcard, NCTP - Our aim in this website is to provide information about bus passes whatever they are called in your neck of the woods, issued for older people and disabled people. Since 2008 a national scheme has been in existence sponsored by the UK government to provide free bus travel to older people and the disabled. People who hold a bus pass issued in England can use their pass to travel on local buses anywhere in England. So someone living in Birmingham for instance who goes on holiday in Bognor Regis can also use his/her bus pass on local buses in the Bognor Regis area.

Up and down the country bus services are being cut to reduce costs – all the while making bus pass users less able to use their bus pass.  The problems seem at their worst in rural areas where bus services are much less frequent than in urban areas.

This raises the concern that the funding which is provided by the Department for Transport is being creamed off to support other services  and the same may be the case with the Bus Service Operators Grant.

We are getting very regular complaints from people in many areas of England about the decision to make people wait until they are 66 to get a bus pass,  and people fear that when they finally get a bus pass there will be few bus services left to use them on.   We can’t help thinking that politicians realise how important pensioners are when it comes to the ballot box, so they don’t dare talk down the bus pass,  but are finding other ways of reducing the bus pass cost,  i.e. b y reducing bus services.

This ignores the many good reason for retaining the bus pass,  including the recent study which reported Every £1 spent on concessionary fare bus passes generates more than £2.87 for wider economy.

With this in mind we are writing to the Department for Transport to ask what  assurance they can give that funding to local authorities for bus passes,  and the Bus Service Operators Grant is not being siphoned off by local authorities.

We have now received a reply from The Department of Transport which mentions amongst other things that there are "no plans to withdraw statutory entitlement to concessionary bus travel"

Bus Passes for the disabled - there is a set of criteria to qualify for a disabled bus pass, and we would recommend looking at your local authority webpage for help on this, our 'Where to apply' page should help you to find information on criteria and how to apply. To the best of our knowledge the same rules on when and where a disabled bus pass can be used apply as for Older People.

Worried about the renewal of your bus pass ?

Thousands of people's bus passes are expiring around now, and as the date approaches people are wondering whether they have to re-apply or not. In most cases the local authority are writing out to existing bus pass holders with information on the renewal of bus passes. But not all - if you wish to check what your local authority require, we suggest going to our 'Where to apply' page, find the link to your local authority, where you may find information on renewals, and if not an email adress that you can use to enquire.

Do you know of a rural bus service that's been cut, a planned new pedestrian crossing that's been cancelled, or any other cut to transport in your area?
If so, please tell The Campaign for Better Transport about it.

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Our resident pundits Fred n Ted give their views in video format on issues of concern to older & disabled people.