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This Blog provides free and impartial information/advice on bus passes for older people and disabled people in the UK, and also highlights other issues affecting older people and disabled people.


The information and advice on bus passes comes under various names, including Freedom passes, NOW cards, Metro Passes.

We include the schemes which fall under the “English National Concession Ticket Scheme” (ENCTS), The Welsh Government Concessionary Travel scheme, The National Entitlement Card in Scotland, and The Senior SmartPass in Northern Ireland. We also give information on schemes which offer similar benefits aimed at those aged 60 and over who haven’t yet reached the minimum qualifying age – e.g. in Merseyside and London, and include information on benefits where they are offered in various counties in addition to the bus pass benefits of the national schemes, e.g train, tube, ferry services, and travel times allowed outside the off peak time limitations.

In focusing on bus pass and other issues affecting Pensioners and Disabled people we draw on reports in newspapers, TV and other media, plus issues which concern our website visitors and ourselves.

Please go to our News Headlines pages to view our most recent news items, and access all of the posts we have made. Our ‘Where to apply’ pages which many people find very useful. You’ll find there links direct to your own local authority webpage where application forms are found (not always easy to track down in some council websites!), and details of where to send them. You will usually find details of the services on which you can use your pass, and the times of day. These times sometimes differ from the standard ‘9.30 am – 11pm Monday to Friday, and anytime Saturday and Sunday’ and in some areas train and ferry services are also usable with a local bus pass. Many of these variations from the standard can be found on our ‘Local Variations’ page. For disabled people there’s information on the definition of disabled for a disabled bus pass.We are an unofficial website and have built up knowledge on what is happening in the the UK in these issues, and often take up issues raised by our website visitors with local authorities etc.

56 thoughts on “Blog Homepage

  1. Fred Robson

    Your Bedfordshire bus pass will cover use on local bus journeys throughout England. These are typically services for which bus stops are dotted around, and don’t require prior booking. As you say National Express, and also Megabus and others which are typically longer distance journeys. (Some local bus services can be longer journeys, but if you want to use your bus pass for a longer journey you would have to work out a combination of local buses.) You can get timetable/route information via this page


    Hello. I am eager to explore England and need to know how I can utilise my pensioner bus pass (for which I am very grateful) issued by the Bedford Borough Council. I think it is not valid for National Express. Any advice really appreciated. Thank you..

  3. Fred Robson

    Sorry but if you have a bus pass issued in Manchester (looks like this:) Manchester Bus Passthat has a red rose symbol on it you are entitled to use it on bus services throughout England.

    The Manchester website says:
    “National travel pass for residents of Greater Manchester

    The Concessionary Bus Travel Act states that everyone of state pensionable age and over in England can get free off-peak travel on all local buses anywhere in England.”

  4. marian coe

    you are saying that mersyside ratepayers pay for your bus pass at 60 but the higher age bus passes can travel anywhere in England ,this isn’t true ,my bus pass only quailfys me to travel in the greater Manchester area ,if I go over any boundaries I have to pay full fare. I am 72 year old pensioner and while travelling anywhere out of the greater Manchester area ihave to pay full fare xxxxx

  5. Fred Robson

    If you are resident in a London Borough you should apply for a Freedom Pass:
    “You can travel free at any time using your Freedom Pass on:
    Buses in London showing the red roundel
    Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail – and take up to four under-11s with you for free
    You can also travel free at any time on some National Rail services in London:”

    Go to this page for more info and how to apply:

    You mention that you are ‘nearly 65’ – I did a check from the page above on a birth date of 10th May 1952 and it confirmed that at that age an applicant is eligible now.

    AsS you qualify by age it will be easier to apply on age grounds, not on disability.


    I am nearly 65, disabled and have a disability bus pass and also retired BR staff pass – I cannot get BR privilege ticket rate on London Underground any more, as they say I have to get an Oyster – yet website say for London residents, I can travel on London buses free – so why can’t I get concessions on the underground?

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