Free bus travel for older and disabled people

June 2014

Please note that we are currently unable to take photographs at Atherstone one stop shop. You may therefore be asked to complete a paper form and, if you are applying for a new pass, you will need to supply a passport photograph.
All other one stop shops are able to handle Concessionary travel enquiries as normal.

The England National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) is a national scheme that enables qualifying individuals to travel free on off-peak local buses throughout England. Eligibility is determined either by age or a qualifying disability.

Currently the national scheme allows travel from 9.30am Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and on bank holidays.

In Warwickshire the scheme also currently allows free travel from 9am on Monday to Friday for Warwickshire residents.

To qualify, you must be a permanent resident of Warwickshire. You must also either be of an eligible age or have a qualifying disability.


1. Eligibility

1.1 Residency criteria

1.2 Eligible age

1.3 Qualifying disabilities

1.4 Providing evidence of your disability

1.5 Companion passes (+1)

2. Application process

2.1 Apply for a pass

2.2 Help with your application

2.3 How we handle your application

2.4 My application has been rejected

2.5 Expiry dates

3. Using your pass

3.1 Where and when

3.2 New passes and smartcards

3.3 Ticket machines and your destination

3.4 Terms and conditions of use

4. Replacing or renewing your pass

4.1 Lost, damaged or stolen passes

4.2 Renewing a pass when it expires

4.3 Passes which have been issued outside Warwickshire

4.4 Can have a temporary pass while I wait for my replacement?

5. Changes in details

5.1 I want to change my name or address

5.2 The pass is no longer required


1. Eligibility

1.1 Residency criteria

You must be a permanent resident of Warwickshire and your Warwickshire home must be your only or main home. You will need to provide one item of proof of address from:

  • Utility bill – less than 3 months old
  • Council tax bill – current tax year
  • Driving licence – a photocard driving licence can be used as evidence of both age and residence. Otherwise you will need to provide two separate pieces of evidence.

If you live outside Warwickshire, you will need to apply to your local authority.

If your Warwickshire home is a second home, and your main home is elsewhere (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or overseas), then you will not be eligible for a Warwickshire bus pass.

 

1.2 Eligible age

In April 2010, the age of eligibility for concessionary travel for women became their pension age. For men it changed to the pensionable age of a woman born on the same day.

The state pension age for a woman is rising over a period of ten years. The earliest age for men and women to get bus passes will increase gradually from 60 in April 2010 to 65 in April 2020. The Government decided that this would be the fairest method, rather than introduce a one-off rise which would leave those currently close to retirement age facing a full five-year delay.

Anyone born on or before 5 June 1952 is eligible for a pass now.

If you were born after 5 June 1952, check the age at which you become eligible by using the older person’s bus pass eligibility checker which will tell you when you will become eligible for a concessionary travel pass. Alternatively, download the following document: Age Eligibility- by date of birth (PDF, 37.96 KB)

In Warwickshire, we will accept applications up to one month before you become eligible.

If you qualify for an ‘age related’ pass, we will need to see one of the following documents which shows your date of birth.

  • Driving licence – a photocard driving licence can be used as evidence of both age and residency. Otherwise you will need to provide two separate pieces of evidence.
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate (in current name, or with evidence of a change of name)
  • NHS medical card

1.3 Qualifying disabilities

There are seven categories of disability which mean someone is eligible for a pass. These are listed as a. – g. below. These qualifying disabilities must be ‘long term’, meaning they last 12 months or more.

In Warwickshire, anyone who holds a Blue Badge (Disabled Parking Badge) is considered eligible. If you use your Blue Badge as evidence, your pass will expire around the same time as your Blue Badge.

Children over the age of 5 who have a qualifying disability will be eligible.

Criteria
w Blue Badge (Disabled Parking Badge) holder
The following are accepted as automatic proof of entitlement:

  • Blue Badge
  • Confirmation letter accompanying issue of Blue Badge
a. Be blind or partially sighted – able to register as severely sight impaired or sight impaired

Information Sheet – Category A – Blind or partially sighted (PDF, 51.95 KB)

The following are accepted as automatic proof of entitlement:

b. Be profoundly or severely deaf – hearing level at 70dBHL or worse

Information Sheet – Category B – Profoundly or Severely Deaf (PDF, 51.22 KB)

The following are accepted as automatic proof of entitlement:

c. Be without speech.

Information Sheet – Category C – Without speech (PDF, 51.02 KB)
The following is accepted as automatic proof of entitlement:

  • Proof of being awarded 8 or more points under the ‘Communicating verbally’ activity for Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • AFCS Reasons for Decision letter
d. Has a disability, or has suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on ability to walk

Information Sheet – Category D – Ability to walk (PDF, 57.05 KB)

The following are accepted as automatic proof of entitlement:

  • Proof of Higher Rate Mobility Component of DLA (for a minimum of 12 months)
  • Proof of being awarded 8 or more points under the ‘Moving around’ activity for Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Proof of receiving War Pensioners Mobility Supplement
  • AFCS Reasons for Decision letter
e. Do not have arms or have long term loss of the use of both arms

Information Sheet – Category E – Loss of use of both arms (PDF, 51.73 KB)

The following is accepted as automatic proof of entitlement:

f. Have a learning disability

Information Sheet – Category F – Learning Disability (PDF, 62.6 KB)
g. Would be refused a driving licence on medical grounds (otherwise than misuse of drugs or alcohol).
Information Sheet – Category G – Refusal of a driving licence (PDF, 57.55 KB)

The following is accepted as automatic proof of entitlement:

  • Confirmation from DVLA that your driving licence has been revoked on medical grounds.

If you currently hold a driving licence then we will not issue a bus pass under this category.

 

1.4. Providing evidence of your disability

You must show that you are eligible Please read the information sheet for the relevant category for more information.

We do not liaise directly with GPs. You should be aware that a GP is not required by the NHS to provide letters in support of Concessionary Travel applications but they may choose to do so privately. The cost of any such letters would be payable by you.

Letters of support (such as those which state that you deserve a bus pass, or that having one will improve your quality of life) will not assist in proving you are eligible. There are fixed criteria which you must meet, and a bus pass cannot be issued unless we have evidence that you meet those criteria.

Veterans and service personnel in receipt of an award under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) may be able to use their Reasons for Decision letter to demonstrate a qualifying disability.

If veterans do not wish to show their Reasons for Decision letter they may choose to provide alternative evidence to demonstrate that they have a qualifying disability.

In addition to evidence of your disability we will also need to see evidence of your date of birth. This normally means one of the following documents:

  • Driving licence – a photocard driving licence can be used as evidence of both date of birth and residency. Otherwise you will need to provide two separate pieces of evidence.
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate (in current name, or with evidence of a change of name)
  • NHS medical card

 

1.5 Companion passes (+1)

Companion passes (also known as ‘+1′ passes) are not issued in Warwickshire.

 

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2. Application process

2.1 Apply for a pass

In Person

You can apply in person by visiting your nearest Warwickshire Direct One Stop Shop. You will also need to bring the necessary evidence to demonstrate your residency, and to prove your date of birth. If you are applying for a Disabled Person’s pass then you will also need to bring the evidence of your disability to support the application (see section 1 above). Please bring original documents if you are applying in person.

You do not need to complete a form, nor do you need to bring a photograph if you are applying in person. The application will be completed during your visit by the customer service advisors. A photograph will be taken of you whilst you are there.

There is no charge for the first issue of a concessionary travel pass.

By post

If you are unable to apply in person, you can apply by post by completing the application form and sending photocopies of the relevant evidence. . We will also require a recent passport style photograph.

Please do not send originals by post as we do not accept responsibility for the safe return of any original documents.

ENCTS Application Form – Older Person’s pass (PDF, 61.89 KB)
ENCTS Application Form – Disabled Person’s Pass (PDF, 744.04 KB)

You can call 01926 359180 or email concessionarytravel@warwickshire.gov.ukand we will arrange to send an application to you in the post.

Once completed the application should be returned to:

Concessionary travel applications
Customer Service Centre
Warwickshire County Council
Shire Hall
Warwick
CV34 4RL

There is no charge for the first issue of a concessionary travel pass.

 

2.2 Help with your application

Please call 01926 359180, and an advisor will assist you.

Alternatively you can email us on concessionarytravel@warwickshire.gov.uk

 

2.3 How we handle your application

Your information will be recorded in our database, and the advisor who enters the data will decide whether you are eligible, based on the evidence you have provided.

If the advisor is not sure whether you are eligible, they may send the evidence to the Concessionary Travel Manager for a decision.

If you are eligible then a computerised request is sent to the company which produces the bus passes for us. The pass will be posted directly to the address you have supplied on the application. This will normally be within two weeks (10 working days).

 

2.4 My application has been rejected

  • ‘Age related’ Passes– you can re-apply up to one month prior to reaching the eligible age.
  • ‘Eligible Disabled’ Passes – If you do not qualify under this category and are a Warwickshire resident, we will either tell you at the time of your application or we will advise you in writing within 10 days. If you consider this to be the wrong decision there is an appeals process.

Download the ENCTS Appeal Form against refusal of a pass (PDF, 26.51 KB) or contact the Concessionary Travel Manager on 01926 412779 or email concessionarytravel@warwickshire.gov.uk if you require further information on appeals.

 

2.5 Expiry Dates

When you receive your pass, the expiry date will be printed on the front. A pass is normally be valid for up to 5 years from the point of issue. If however, the pass has been issued on ‘temporary medical grounds’ or using the ‘blue badge’ as evidence, it will be issued to you in line with the evidence or the expiry date of the blue badge..

The non-temporary passes which are now being issued will generally last for up to 5 years from the date of your last birthday. This pass entitles a passholder to travel under the national terms and conditions of the England National Concessionary Travel Scheme until that date. This is the date printed on your pass.

In addition to entitlement under the National Scheme, residents of Warwickshire may be entitled to additional discretionary travel under Warwickshire’s terms and conditions. Currently this means that passholder’s can travel from 9am, and until midnight, on weekday journeys starting in Warwickshire, in addition to the national entitlement.

 

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3. Using your pass

3.1 Where and when

Please carry your pass with you and present it to the driver. If you are unable to present a valid pass, you will not be able to travel free and you will be expected to pay the full fare for your journey.

The pass can be used anywhere in England on local bus services. In Warwickshire, this includes the Flexibus.

It cannot be used

  • in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Channel Islands
  • on long distance bus or coach services (unless local arrangements exist)
  • on tourist buses
  • on rail services (including the London Underground) or rail-replacement buses

The pass is for your own personal use, it cannot be used by any other person. If the pass is fraudulently used, it will be withdrawn and the holder may be prosecuted.

The Department for Transport has set time restrictions nationally for England so that the scheme can be realistically funded and to manage additional capacity on services in some areas.

Your pass can be used anywhere in England from 9:30am – 11:00pm on weekdays and any time at weekends and on Bank Holidays

In addition, for Warwickshire residents getting onto a bus within Warwickshire (even if your destination is outside Warwickshire) the pass can be used from 9:00am in the morning until midnight on weekdays. These additional travel times will continue to be available for Warwickshire residents from April 2013 onwards, following a decision by WCC Cabinet in November 2012.

 

3.2 New passes and smartcards

All the new passes are smartcards. They are the size of a credit card, made of plastic containing a microchip and antenna which can store information electronically. Some buses will have ‘smartcard readers’ and instead of having to show the driver your pass, you simply swipe your pass through or across the reader. On older buses you will need show the driver your pass.

If your bus pass will not swipe, and if you keep it in your purse or wallet, please take it out before swiping, as bank cards and other smartcards may stop it working properly.

You should look after your pass – if a card becomes damaged, and stops working on the smartcard reader as a result, then you will be charged for a replacement.

3.3 Ticket machines and your destination

Most of the buses in Warwickshire are now using smart ticket machines and you will not need to state your destination or ask the driver for a ticket. Instead, you place your card on the smartcard reader and your journey will be automatically recorded.

The bus company does not need to know how far you are travelling because they are paid a fixed amount per journey regardless of whether you travel just one stop or whether you stay on the bus for many miles. On the older ticket machines you may be issued a ticket which has the wrong destination printed on it. This does not mean that the bus operators will be paid too much.

3.4 Terms and conditions of use

You can download a copy of the WCC Concessionary Travel Terms and Conditions 2014-2015 (pdf, 35 Kb).

 

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4. Replacing or renewing your pass

4.1 Lost, damaged or stolen passes

In your pass is lost or stolen please notify us as soon as possible by calling 01926 359180, or visiting a Warwickshire Direct One Stop Shop You will be able to order your replacement pass straight away, although we may need you to provide an up to date photograph.

There is a charge for replacing lost or damaged passes.

In some cases, we may not have a copy of your photograph and so may not be able to reissue a pass straight away. If you come into one of the One Stop Shop then a new photograph can be taken while you wait, or alternatively you can post us a passport style photo.

You will normally receive a replacement pass within two weeks (10 working days).

Reason Cost
Lost pass £10 Even if your pass is then found, this amount is non-refundable.
Damaged pass £10 E.g. defaced, cracked or broken. This is non-refundable.
Stolen pass free There is no cost for a replacement pass if you provide a valid crime reference number. Otherwise the charge is £10.
Faulty pass free Passes which are faulty when issued, or which have a recognisable fault, will be replaced free of charge.

When a request is made for a replacement pass the information is entered ‘live’ into the database and the electronic pass request is sent automatically to the company that produces the passes. Once the new pass is requested the old pass is automatically cancelled.

Due to the extra time and costs involved in reversing these processes, a decision was made to make the £10 charge non-refundable once the replacement request has been made.

You can also request a pass by post using this form – ENCTS Replacement Pass Request Form (PDF, 38.86 KB)

 

4.2 Renewing a pass when it expires.

Renewing your pass is free of charge.

Call us on 01926 359180, or visit a Warwickshire Direct One Stop Shop to renew your pass.

If you have a disability pass (with an orange stripe) then we may need to see current evidence of your disability before we can issue you with a new pass.
 


4.3 Passes which have been issued outside Warwickshire

If you have just moved to Warwickshire and you have a pass issued by another authority, then you should apply for a Warwickshire pass. You will need to provide evidence of residence and age or disability. We do not have access to the evidence used to issue your previous pass.

If you live outside Warwickshire, then your pass will be replaced by the authority who initially issued it, provided you still live within their area.

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4.4 Can I have a temporary pass while I wait for my replacement?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. The bus pass is designed to be as difficult to forge as possible. Bus companies are not obliged to accept anything other than a proper concessionary travel pass, and any temporary pass would be too easy for someone to copy or use fraudulently.

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5. Changing your details

5.1 I want to change my name or address

If you change your name, you will not be issued with a new bus pass, as your old one will still work.

You should notify us so we can amend our records, this can be done either by visiting a Warwickshire Direct One Stop Shop or calling 01926 359180.This will ensure that any correspondence and renewals are sent to the correct address.

When you speak to us, please tell us that it is your bus pass details which need changing, as the County Counil and District/Borough Councils have many separate databases, and changes in details are not automatically made in all of them.

If you move outside the county, you must return your pass to us at the address below. You should apply to your local authority for a pass.

 

5.2 The pass is no longer required

The pass should be returned to the nearest Warwickshire Direct One Stop Shop, or posted to us, at the address below. We will then update our records and ensure that no unnecessary correspondence is sent.

Warwickshire County Council

Concessionary travel

FREEPOST LG111
PO Box 43
Warwick
CV34 4BR

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Free bus travel for older and disabled people was last updated on July 23, 2014.