Local Variations

Additional benefits are available in certain areas for bus pass holders – see details below. These extra benefits are generally available only to people resident within the area concerned.

County Durham
Train services – half fare travel

The pass can be used for half-fare travel on certain local train services for journeys to and from the following stations:

Chester-le-Street – to from Newcastle or Middlesbrough, including intermediate stations.
Seaham – to or from Newcastle or Middlesbrough, including intermediate stations.
Bishop Auckland, Shildon, Newton Aycliffe, Heighington – to or from Middlesbrough, including intermediate stations.

Residents of Co Durham who hold a valid concessionary bus pass can also purchase a Nexus Gold Card which allows free off-peak travel on the Tyneside Metro system.

Residents of the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland who have a National Entitlement Card can also get two free return ferry journeys to the mainland each year.
The card gives holders free bus travel in Scotland and reduced fares on trains and Subway in the Strathclyde area.

A National Entitlement Card(NEC) should only be eligible within the country in which it has been issued. However there is an exception with some cross border services in both Scotland and England.

If you have the eye symbol on your National Entitlement card you’re entitled to free Standard Class rail travel across Scotland and for journeys to and from Berwick-upon-Tweed and Carlisle as well as concessions on ferry journeys throughout Scotland.

The NEC is not valid for travel locally within these areas, therefore if a person travelling from Scotland to Carlisle or Berwick-upon-Tweed, departs the bus once it has crossed the border their NEC would no longer be eligible and they would be expected to pay for any onwards journeys they wish to make.


the Northumberland website says:
“Concessionary passes issued by English authorities are not available for use in Scotland. However holders of English passes are able to travel on parts of some cross-border routes from Northumberland, provided the journey starts or ends in England. For details refer to the Guidance Notes below. ”

In the Guidance notes it says:
“Northumberland County Council have agreed additional benefits for free travel in Scotland on
the following local bus services where your journey either starts or finishes in England:
• 18/19, 260 – Berwick to Duns
• 60 – Berwick to Galashiels via Duns
• 67 – Berwick to Galashiels via Kelso
• 34, 235, 236, 253 – Berwick to Eyemouth
• 131 – Newcastle to Jedburgh
On the following local bus services, free travel is only available for journeys wholly in England:
• 710 – Newcastle to Coldstream/Kelso
• 32 – Berwick to Swinton
• 87 – Berwick to Kelso

Residents of Northumberland who hold a valid concessionary bus pass can also purchase a Nexus Gold Card which allows free off-peak travel on the Tyneside Metro system.

Lancashire NoW Card

Holders of Older Person’sNoWcards issued by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Council, Lancashire County Council, or the Borough, City or District Council’s of Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Wyre receive:

Free off peak travel on Tramcar services in Blackpool and Wyre* but only for Blackpool residents after 31/3/2014

*During the Illuminations period (normally early September to early November) travel by scheduled tram services is restricted as follows:
Concessionary fares are not available after 18:00 (6pm) on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as well as every night during the October school half term week .

Passes are not valid on Illuminations Tours or Heritage Excursions at any time.

Greater Manchester

With your NCTP, Greater Manchester residents can travel for free between 9.30am and midnight Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and on public holidays. At all other times you pay the full adult fare.

Your pass is valid for free (after 9.30am) or full-price (before 9.30am) fare travel only for journeys which begin and end within the Greater Manchester rail boundary. If you have a train ticket from any station within the rail boundary to Manchester, or if your journey involves changing at a train station in Manchester, you can travel free on Metrolink trams in the City Zone (Piccadilly – Victoria – G-Mex, and all the stops in between). For other journeys before 9.30am Monday to Friday, which include travelling on trains and Metrolink trams, you will have to buy separate tickets for each.

You cannot use your pass on trains outside Greater Manchester.

North Lincolnshire

Local trains

You may travel at reduced fare on local trains within North Lincolnshire and as far as Doncaster and Cleethorpes. You may also travel by train to and from Lincoln and Gainsborough but these journeys must be via Barnetby only.

Please remember that you must start or finish your journey within North Lincolnshire.

With a pass showing one train symbol you can buy a half fare return ticket for these train journeys. There is one-third off single tickets.

If you are blind, deaf, limbless, severe learning disabled or unable to walk 100 metres, your pass will show two train symbols and you may travel free on these local trains.

North Lincolnshire – Trains website info


Your Freedom Pass is valid on most local buses (in the Greater London area) at any time of day or night.
The Freedom Pass is accepted all day, every day on London’s trams.
The Freedom Pass is accepted all day, every day on the whole of the London Underground (the ‘tube’), Overground (which replaced the old Silverlink service) and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) network.
Your Freedom Pass allows you to travel for free in all standard classes of the train carriages on most local rail services, provided you travel in the following times:

  1. 9.30am and 4.30am the following morning Monday to Friday
  2. all day at weekends
  3. all day on public holidays.

Freedom Pass holders are entitled to a 50% discount on normal river fares on the following services at the following times:

  1. after 9.00am Mondays to Fridays
  2. at any time on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays
  3. at all other times, pass holders must pay a standard fare.

These details are set out on London Travel When & Where

London residents can apply for a 60+ London Oyster photocard to: http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/freedompass/default.htm

Travel free on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London.

Visitors to London – bus passes from elsewhere in England can only be used on London Buses, but it might be worth your while to get a Visitors Oyster Card – Tube fares are reduced below 50% of the normal rate with one of these cards.


You can travel free on buses, trains and Mersey Ferries if you are over 60 and live in Merseyside.(i.e. 60 is the ‘magic’ age for a bus pass on Merseyside)

N Ireland

The Senior SmartPass (age 65 & over)
With a Senior SmartPass you can travel anywhere in Northern Ireland on any Translink bus or rail service completely free of charge. You can also enjoy free cross border travel.

Tyne & Wear

How to use your Metro Gold Card

On Metro – show an inspector your Metro Gold Card when requested, from 9.30am Monday-Friday and all day at weekends and on public holidays. You must pay the full adult fare at all other times.

On the Shields Ferry – show the ferry operator your Metro Gold Card when you board, from 9.30am Monday-Friday and all day at weekends and on public holidays. You must pay the full adult fare at all other times.

On Northern Rail services between Newcastle and Sunderland – from 9.30am Monday-Friday and all day at weekends and on public holidays, show the conductor your Metro Gold Card. You must pay the full adult fare at all other times.
YWest Midlands
Centro issued passes
In the West Midlands – free travel on the bus, train and Metro.
Valid from 9.30 am until the end of daytime service Monday to Friday.
Valid anytime at weekends and on Bank Holidays.

South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire pass holders may also travel at these times on train services operating within South Yorkshire to and from West Yorkshire on Northern Rail services (without changing trains in West Yorkshire)
NB use of rail service with bus pass is being withdrawn at 31st March 2014
Pass holders can travel between 0930 and 2300 on weekdays and at any time during the weekend and on Bank Holidays:
on any bus or tram within South Yorkshire

We have checked with the S Yorkshire Bus Pass office who say “In all other parts of England, South Yorkshire passes can be used for free travel on bus services between 0930 and 2300 weekdays and all day weekends and Bank Holidays. They are not valid on tram services outside of South Yorkshire.
The half fare rail travel (OAP) or Free (Mobility) rail travel is only for residents of South Yorkshire who have an ENCTS card.”

In a nutshell, any English bus pass can be used on both busses and trams in south Yorkshire.

Card holders whose ticket was issued outside South Yorkshire only get free travel on buses and Supertram between 0930 and 2300 on weekdays and all day weekends

From 8 June 2014: Enhanced concessionary travel arrangements will come into effect, meaning: Older persons concessionary pass holders will be able to additionally travel on trains within South Yorkshire for a half fare (single or day return journeys) between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday and at any time at weekends and on Bank Holidays. The arrangements for older people on buses and trams will remain unchanged meaning travel will remain free between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and Bank Holidays. Pass holders can continue to travel free on buses across England, between the same hours.

West Yorkshire

Half-fare, off-peak train travel within West Yorkshire (only for West Yorkshire residents).

Free rail pilot schemes to continue

People living in Wales can also use their passes to travel free on cross-boundary journeys in and out of England, providing the journey starts or finishes in Wales. (Passes are not valid between Carmarthen and Cardiff on service X40 as this isn’t categorised as a ‘local service’ under the regulations). Source: Arriva website

The concessionary fares rail pilot scheme provides free travel on selected railway lines in Wales. These are:

* The Borderlands Line
* The Cambrian Coast Line
* The Heart of Wales Line
* The Conwy Valley Line

Cerdyn Cymru pass holders benefit from free rail travel on the Conwy Valley Line between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno, and on the Welsh section of the Wrexham – Bidston Line. The first scheme is open to cardholders from the counties of Conwy and Gwynedd, the second those from Flintshire and Wrexham. The scheme will continue until the end of September 2010 for these railway lines.

The Cambrian Coast scheme reopened on the 4th October 2009 for eligible Gwynedd pass holders, and also on the Heart of Wales Line for eligible Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Powys passholders, and will operate until Friday 26th March 2010.

81 thoughts on “Local Variations

  1. Richard Harris

    I have a Cumbrian NOW card and want to get from Bristol to Hereford – the obvious route taking me to Chepstow, then up the Wye Valley (to Monmouth, then on to Hereford). But that of course would take me into Wales, where the card isn’t valid. Is the only alternative (apart from paying!) to go from Bristol to Gloucester, then Gloucester to Hereford?

  2. a cordell

    I have a pensioners g.m.t. bus pass I can travel to Merseyside with my bus pass on a bus but cannot travel on a train to Merseyside how does that work

  3. chris mountain

    I know that I can use my english diamond card from Bristol to Newport(Wales) going through Chepstow.(Wales) Am I able to use my diamond card on services that leave Chepstow and end in england?

  4. Andy D

    I must correct you on something;
    If you hold a G. Manchester travel pass, you can travel before 09.30am for half price standard fare, if travelling by Metrolink you need to buy a child single/return ticket.

  5. Alison Howard

    I have a disabled bus pass for Worcestershire, will I be able to use this in Birmingham and the West Midlands?

  6. admin Post author

    We’ve quoted what S Yorkshire website says about bus passes
    “South Yorkshire pass holders may also travel at these times on train services operating within South Yorkshire to and from West Yorkshire on Northern Rail services (without changing trains in West Yorkshire)”
    It would be very useful if you could try your bus pass out on a train – do they have swipe systems, or do you just show your pass ?

  7. John

    Are you sure about South Yorkshire Trains?

    I have a pass issued outside South Yorkshire and the pass swipes fine at the yellow scan posts at their stations but I have never tried to use it on the trains, I know the supertram is an any pass works system.

  8. Pingback: W.C.B.C Free bus pass for over 60's - Wrexham.com Forums

  9. admin Post author

    I think that would have hit the headlines if so, and is very unlikely. There have been some alterations to the time you can use a bus pass from, though this can not be later than 9.30am

  10. John king

    Is it true that some bus companys in Devon and Cornwall have stopped the senior Bus Pass
    scheme and is this allowed by the government?

  11. Joel Kosminsky

    Trans-border travel is an issue the Trades Unions are looking at, as governments don’t seem able or willing to end anomalies. A proposition through the union movement has been sent to the European Union, via FERPA, to harmonise across the EU without detriment, concession travel for older people and pensioners (the two named groups are necessary as different retirement and eligibility ages apply across EU Member States). If FERPA support this proposition, it would start on a journey to the relevant EU body for debate.

    Please get your MEP involved if they’re already positive toward improving travel facilities for older people and pensioners. This proposition would end the ridiculous situation of passes becoming invalid at an administrative border, and would enable older people etc to travel more at home and abroad without imposing public transport full-fare costs on people with limited incomes. Using buses, trains and ferries which run regardless barely increases the carbon footprint to the extent which motoring does. And universalising concessionary travel will encourage accessible transport to become the norm ahead of distant deadlines for compliance. It might also create bus and train manufacturing jobs to convert or built new compliant stock!

    My Union, TSSA started this ball rolling through the National Pensioners’ Convention – we need all the external support we can get to make this happen or at least raise the issue, which if it fails now would give others the ammunition for later attempts!

  12. Pat Madden

    I live part of the year in a park home on welsh border.i have an England issued bus pass. Can I travel from the welsh border to nearby English towns with this pass ?

  13. admin Post author

    You can use a G. Manchester only on London buses. Similarly London bus pass holders can only use their passes on Manchester buses, not the rail system.

    Put another way, a bus pass issued in England can be used anywhere in England on buses. Where rail services exist it is only local bus pass holders that can use them for that.

  14. George Fairclough

    thought that the concessionary travel passes for pensioners could be used nationally. ? Can I use mine issued by Greater Manchester transport for travel by tube in London ?

  15. Rodney Hooker

    Today I was taken by car to Norwich. We parked at the Airport Park and Ride, Caught the P & R 603 service to the City Centre. My pass was accepted and I was charged a f urther £1.10 return for the fare. The ticket said concessionary fare and apparently the Park and Ride service carries this supplement. Is this the thin end of the wedge?

  16. vin 1

    can i use my merseytravel freedom bus pass on london transport including the underground

  17. admin Post author

    I think that the answer is no- A Scottish bus pass isn’t valid in England. Lots of people complain of this, including those visiting Scotland from England or Wales for whom the same applies.

  18. admin Post author

    The Government sponsored scheme only covers bus services. Some local authorities have decided to allow bus passes to be used on trains, tube etc, but they are only available free to bus pass holders who live within that local authority.

  19. Peter Targett

    Why can holders of South Yorkshire concessionary bus passes also use these on trains within a wide area of Sheffield and South and West Yorkshire? Is this concessionary travel funded by HM Government? Can I use my Oxfordshire bus pass also for travel by trains.

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