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Companion (+1) passes

A companion (+1) pass is an add-on to a concessionary bus pass which allows a passholder to take a carer with them free of charge on journeys starting within Warwickshire. In Warwickshire it is indicated by a red +1 printed on the top right corner of the bus pass.

A carer is someone who is with you because you cannot manage on your own. This can be any of the following, and it does not need to be the same person every time;

  • Family member, or
  • Friend, or
  • Someone who is employed e.g. member of staff from a care home, or directly employed carer

The carer will not receive a pass of their own.

Can I get a companion pass? 

The reasons people may qualify for a companion (+1) add-on were agreed by councillors. Due to limited money available, the add-on is aimed at people who are most severely affected by their disabilities.

The add-on will be available to holders of both disabled person’s passes, provided they are over the age of 11, and older person’s passes so long as one of the following reasons applies:

  • Reason 1 : You are registered blind (severely sight impaired) or entitled to be registered as such.
  • Reason 2 : You need to be accompanied or supervised by a carer at all times due to your disability i.e. care is required 24/7. This may be because of challenging behaviours, an unstable or unpredictable medical condition, or severe cognitive or mental impairment.
  • Reason 3: You are physically unable to get on or off the bus without the assistance of another person.

If you only need a carer with you some of the time, e.g. to go shopping, then you cannot get the add-on for Reason 2.

If your application for the add-on is successful then your existing pass will be replaced with one showing +1 in the top corner. Your old pass will stop working and must be destroyed.

When will the passes be available? 

Applications are already being accepted from existing passholders, with new applicants being able to apply from sometime in January. Passes are being accepted on the buses from 1 January 2024.

How do they work?

Your bus pass is valid across England, but the companion may only travel free on journeys starting within Warwickshire.

We don’t allow carers to travel free if a companion or +1 pass has been issued by another authority, The add on is for Warwickshire residents only.

Companion (+1) passes are smartcards which work in a similar way to the normal concessionary bus pass. The passholder scans their pass on the bus as normal. If a carer is with them, then the bus driver will then either scan the pass a second time, or log on the ticket machine that the passholder is travelling with a companion who needs free travel.

The carer does not receive a separate pass, and it does not need to be the same person accompanying the passholder each time.

Why the delay?

There was a lot of work needed to ensure that the passes work. This included:

  • giving notice to commercial bus operators
  • making changes to databases
  • developing an application process
  • technical changes to do with ticket machines and smartcards
  • manufacturing and testing the passes

This all needed to be done in addition to the normal work of the team. We wanted existing applicants and passholders to receive their normal service and this meant that it has taken a bit longer to get a companion (+1) pass set up.

How can I apply?

At the moment we are only accepting applications by post. If you need a paper copy of the forms and guidance posting out to you then please email or call 01926 359180 with your request. Otherwise, please use the following download links:

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