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. admin Post author

    You could travel all the way to Exeter on service buses with your Freedom Pass, but it would be rather a long journey maybe taking more than one day. You could try working out the journey from our timetables page

  2. Ann Williamson

    I have to travel from london wher I live to Exeter in Devon. How far can my Freedom bus pass take me and can I get a concession on my ticket for the rest of my journey.

  3. admin Post author

    the answer to your question is set out on this page:

    But please take note that this only applies re train and tram travel to people who live in the Greater Manchester area. So for instance if you have a bus pass issued in Merseyside your entitlement is limited to bus travel from 9.30am to 11pm or at weekends.

  4. Phil

    can someone clarify if using the national bus concession is available in greater london,
    and to what extent in the city?

  5. Dafydd

    Does a concessionary travel pass qualify me for free travel from Porthmadog to Abergavenny on the Cambrian coast railway line

  6. Andy

    Hi all, I noticed that someone was asking about applying for a bus pass on mental health grounds, unfortunately the grounds for a bus pass have been tightened up considerably in the last few years and you need to have a physical issue and even then it’s sometimes not a given. I have fibromyalgia which makes me hypersensitive to pain, so that issues with my flat feet make it difficult to walk long distances these days. When I first applied my GP only put Fibromyalgia on its own and I was refused. The Rheumatologist gave me a letter and he spelled out my mobility issues and my GP confirmed them and I have been successful this time. It is important to get medical support from your doctor, but it seems they are prioritizing people with walking issues, sight etc. Mental health issues are not being considered at this time or at least they are not in the Leeds area, they are in other jurisdictions so it might not hurt to apply and see.

    take care and stay safe


  7. admin Post author

    The straight answer is no, you’ll have an English bus pass, which is literally only usable in England. (there are some local small cross boundary journeys which are allowable across boundaries, but not in Glasgow I think.

  8. Thomas Bell

    I live in Worcestetrshire England.. Can I use my Free pensioners bus pass when I visit Glasgow,Scotland

  9. admin Post author

    You would be able to use your ‘Now’ card on London buses, but not the Tube or other rail services in London.

  10. jimmy

    I’ve just been registered disabled and got my blue badge and now card from the Lancashire council, was wondering I travel to London alot and was wanted to know can I use my now card on any London busses and underground/overground in the city Centure and outskirts like Richmond area.

    Was just googling to find any discounts for disabled and found your website and found it a interesting read

  11. admin Post author

    Re your Comment:
    I do not have a freedom pass but if I get one from my local authority, South Holland, Lincs, will it allow me to use trains free of charge and may i use it in other areas of the country>

    The answer to this seems to be not on trains, as there is no mention of train services on the South Holland website, or the Lincolnshire one.

    On the other hand this is mentioned on the N East Lincs website


    The Travel Pass also allows discounted rail travel between any two stations within North East Lincolnshire (any two train stations between Cleethorpes and Habrough).”

    You would be able to use your bus pass on any scheduled bus services in England, after 9.30 am and up to 11pm weekdays, and anytime at weekends.

  12. john

    I do not have a freedom pass but if I get one from my local authority, South Holland, Lincs, will it allow me to use trains free of charge and may i use it in other areas of the country>

  13. admin Post author

    You can use your bus pass on any local / service bus in England. In some areas local train services can also be used with a bus pass, but not in Staffordshire as far as I am aware.

  14. david green

    whatkind of travel can i use my bus pass on from tamworth staffs and what desinations can i travel to and from

  15. Vanessa

    My Boyfriend Has A Bus Pass For Having Anxiety Depression, Can He Use That On Buses From Edinburgh Up To Inverness?

  16. david

    i have a national english bus pass can i use it in west yorkshire and worcestershire when i go on holiday

  17. admin Post author

    You can use it on bus services. The South Yorkshire website also says “Pass holders are also entitled to free bus and tram travel within South Yorkshire from 0900 weekdays and all day weekends and Bank Holidays. Passes issued to South Yorkshire residents are valid between all stations on the South Yorkshire rail network, and to and from West Yorkshire on Northern Rail Services (provided a change of train is not required in West Yorkshire). ” – I guess this doesn’t include a Doncaster to York journey.

  18. Bernice

    I have a free bus pass because I am disabled, I received it from Milton Keynes Council. I am moving to Gainsborough soon, would I need to re-apply for a free bus pass from Gainsborough?

  19. Paul Wilson

    A couple more points, almost any prescribed medication that impaired your ability to drive a car safely could be grounds for being issued a disabled persons pass, for example taking Painkillers for a bad back which made you drowsy, Antihistamines for hay fever which made you drowsy, Antidepressants for depression, Insulin for diabetes and suchlike providing the medication genuinely affects your ability to drive a car safely, most local authorities will accept a G.P’s letter stating that due to a medical condition the applicant is unable to drive, a letter from the DVLA is not required as the local authority only has to be satisfied that the applicant would be likely to be refused the grant of a driving licence and not that the applicant has already been refused.

    Some London councils issue a discretionary bus pass for any reason they see fit the vast majority of these passes are issued for those with mental health issues however Asylum seekers and other minority groups including students of a computer training scheme for Somalian women have been known to receive them

    Is this fair? (Probably not) but what are local Councils there for if not to waste public money.

  20. Pauline Bedson

    I moved to Gwynedd last year and was offered a choice of either Bus Pass (free) or Senior Citizens Rail Card (£5 charge).I opted for the latter as I can use it on any mainline rail in the UK and get one third off.(I use it to visit family elsewhere).

    But it seems that pensioners who chose the free Bus Pass can travel FREE on the local Cambrian Railway October to March by showing their bus pass, whilst those of us who chose the rail card cannot have this free winter rail travel. Why? It seems both illogical and discriminatory. An Arriva ticket staff said “it is only for local residents”. I pointed out that I am resident here and the card was clearly marked as being supplied by “Gwynedd Council”. She still said I would not get free winter travel on the local line, even though I am a local resident and pensioner,just like the “Bus Pass” people! I cannot get a sensible explanation for this.

  21. admin Post author

    The government definition of who qualifies for a disabled bus pass says:

    “You’re eligible for a disabled person’s pass if you live in England and are ‘eligible disabled’. This means you:

    are blind or partially sighted
    are profoundly or severely deaf
    are without speech
    have a disability, or have suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long-term effect on your ability to walk
    don’t have arms or have long-term loss of the use of both arms
    have a learning disability

    You’re also eligible disabled if your application for a driving licence would be refused under section 92 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (physical fitness). However, you won’t be eligible if you were refused because of persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol.”

    It seems difficult to say that the above applies to mental illnesses as the last part refers to physical fitness, maybe the only way forward may be to apply and back up your application with a doctors letter. You can find your local bus pass office from this page: http://www.blog.freebustravel.co.uk/?page_id=67

  22. Georghia

    Does mental illness qualify you for a a bus pass? I’m pretty sure DVLA is going to deem me unfit to drive as I have MPD and Bi polar

  23. Angela Bolton

    I am just going to use my free over 60’s bus pass for the first time in the West Midlands. Are there any websites that have days out in that county making full use of my pass?

  24. admin Post author

    I’ve looked at the info on the Bristol City website and it doesn’t mention anything about journeys into Wales.
    The page is:

    In the opposite direction – The Monmouth website says:
    “Using your bus pass

    You can travel free of charge on almost all local bus services throughout Wales, and in some cases, to towns just over the boarder in England.”

  25. admin Post author

    The answer to your two questions (travel before 9.30am) seems to be no you can,t use a bus pass before 9.30am but you may be able to claim money back if you need to travel before 9.30 am for a hospital appointment.

    The concessions are the same for older people’s passes and disabled people’s passes.

    this is info is set out on this page,


    What it says is:
    “All older people and eligible people with a disability are entitled to free travel, on bus only, between the hours of 9.30am to 11.00pm, Monday to Friday and all day Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays anywhere in England (within the West Midlands, this lasts until the end of daytime services, which is an enhancement provided by WMPTA).

    You may be able to get financial help towards pre 9.30 travel costs if you need NHS treatment at a hospital, other NHS centre or private clinic and have been referred by an NHS hospital consultant. Ask at the NHS hospital or clinic at the time of your appointment.

    If you are a resident of one of the seven districts of the West Midlands county (Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall or Wolverhampton), you will also be able to travel free on bus, rail and Metro services, within the Network West Midlands area only, until the end of daytime service”

  26. Doreen

    Is it allowed to use concessionary bus/tain card before 9.30 in West Midlands area on buses and train.
    If not does a disabled rail card allow me to travel free with above card on train in West Midlands area before 9.30

  27. maggie

    We live near Bristol and have an over 60’s concessionary bus pass for use in England. We would like to travel by bus into Wales. Are any concessions offered to non-resident OAP’s travelling in Wales?

  28. john

    I see that wales allow travel to gloucester on a welsh bus pass is the opposite available as I live in Gloucestershire

  29. Niall


    I have a Scottish pass on account of disability due to mental health issues.

    I have been told I can get on any local bus in England for free if I can show proof of disability (using the Scottish card). I can, however, find no other evidence to support this.

    Please can you clarify this for me?


  30. admin Post author

    Your bus pass will cover you for any journeys in England. To plan your journey go to http://www.freebustravel.co.uk/timetablesframeset.html“>Timetables and select West Midlands and select only by ‘bus’ – not rail etc

    Because your journey takes you out of West Midlands you’ll have to split the journey into 2 pieces.
    1. Droitwich – Gloucester
    2. Gloucester – Bristol

    This will give you bus times. You can choose specific locations within cities.

    (if you try to enter one journey Droitwich – Bristol it won’t accept it.)

  31. Lucinda Chance

    Hello I live in Droitwich Spa, is it possible to use my disabled free bus pass to visit my daughter in Bristol and if so how do I plan the route?

  32. admin Post author

    Our understanding is that you will be able to use your Metro Card for standard bus pass use on Merseyside. This means that you wouldn’t be able to use your card for all services which a Mersey resident would get i.e Merseyrail and Mersey Ferries services.

  33. Mike

    I have a west yorkshire metro card (wymetro.com), can I use it on merseytravel trains and buses without charge?

  34. Paul

    I have just received my over 60s bus pass from Telford, West Midlands. Can I travel anywhere in the Country providing I use local buses? Also some area do reductions in train travel. Does this apply to all pass holders?

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