Disabled Bus Passes & Benefits

Information from Dept of Transport website:
You’re eligible for a disabled person’s pass if you live in England and are ‘eligible disabled’. This means you come under one of the following headings:

*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. 

Our editors

To make an application, we suggest visiting your local council (often dealt with at County Council level) website – click here for links to find your local council website

Click below for detailed guides on:
“Living with Disabilities: What Help is Available?”

Guide for Disabled Cruisers


45 thoughts on “Disabled Bus Passes & Benefits

  1. Fred Robson

    If you find the full answer to this please let us know. Last time i checked London councils do not issue companion passes, but the position varies across the country


    Which English Council Authorities issue Disabled Bus passes with the extra facility of travelling with a Companion (C+) ?

  3. Alan

    I have a concessionary bus pass with the red rose plus companion and two train’s on it it is isued by my local council north Lincolnshire can I use it anyway eles in England thanks

  4. Mike Lyons

    I have a disabled Lancashire Nowcard for travel in Lancashire and surrounding areas, I plan to visit my brother who lives in Lincoln, will I be able to use this card on buses in Lincoln?

  5. Ameena

    hi i got a disabled bus pass and i have to travel a lot to appointments which start at 9AM. Do you know how much does an add on ticket cost. and will that add on ticket last for that one bus journey, Because i use two buses to get to my appointments.

  6. Stephanie

    Hi there, I’ve got anxiety and depression as diagnosed by a doctor. I have a provisional driving license however I’ve tried having lessons and every time I end up having to pull over because I have a panic attack behind the wheel. If my doctor wrote a letter explaining this do you think I’d be entitled to a bus pass? Even for one year until I can control the anxiety

  7. admin Post author

    Not quite sure if I understand your post, but both type of bus pass run to the same conditions once you have a pass. Holding a Blue Badge would certainly help to get a disabled pass, but you still have to apply. With a disabled pass however you can in many areas apply for a ‘companion’ pass if you need help travelling by public transport. (Though Companion passes are not available in London)

  8. Carlyle

    what advantages do you get from having a Disabled buss pass and just an elderly persons bus pass, ?
    I have a blue badge ,but I did not know until recently that there was two types of bus passes, and it seems I have a disabled bus pass which I did not know about, and since finding this out it has had me wondering why are not bus passes all the same ?


    Please could you tell me what happens if you have a c+ disabled buss pass and you need to use the bus before the 9.30 ruling…We have an appointment and its at 8.45 in the morning……what do we do ….

  10. kerfuffle

    Here are two links showing that criterion F is getting tightened-up:
    http://apps.warwickshire.gov.uk/api/documents/WCCC-603-48 – page 11.
    http://www.medway.gov.uk/pdf/Accepted%20disability%20evidence%20-%20March%202015%20_2_.pdf – page 2

    As we can see a lot of those who used go get it under the slightly shaky reason of Autism / Asperger’s under F will now not be able to. And all these, predominantly women, who got it under g for anxiety and neurotic type reasons won’t,

    I mean, I’d gladly swap my Bi-Polar, Borderline Personality Disorder (g.2 criterion ‘severe mental disorder) and Vasovsgal Syncope (g.3 criterion ‘liable to attacks of giddiness and fainting’), but I am grateful for these! I really do want to help these poor souls who are quite clearly not right in the head, but now, don’t tick the right box.

  11. kerfuffle

    Chris – C+ usually only in county of issue. Or group of counties
    Bridget – largely dependent upon what your county asks – if it’s just a stamp from the surgery, then give it a go. If it asks what’s wrong with you, very unlikely, unless he’s under a psych which under g,.2 barred under Road Traffic Act 1998 “severe mental disorder”, then fine.
    Robert – given her walking is bad she ought to qualify under the PIP ‘moving around’ category (8 points required, I think)
    Chris – so long as your GP can write a good letter, then, yes…

  12. kerfuffle

    Lee Luckham

    East Sussex County Council, West Sussex County Council and Kent County Council continue to have a reciprocal arrangement. So you’re ESCC orange C+ can be used WITH the companion in any of those three counties. I can confirm this as I used my Crawley Borough / West Sussex County-issued C+ WTH my sidekick in Kent and we both got on for free… YOU CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT get on with your companion within Brighton and Hove.

    I have seen some literature that says KCC, ESCC and WSCC continue to have a reciprocal arrangement. Here:

    Visitors who hold a bus pass
    Visitors can use their valid English National Concessionary Travel Scheme bus pass in East Sussex. As long as you are travelling between 9.30am to 11pm weekdays and anytime at weekends or bank holidays on a local bus service. In addition if you hold a Kent or West Sussex Companion + bus pass you can travel with a companion for free. https://new.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/public/concessionaryfares/buspass/usingyourbuspass/

  13. admin Post author

    The answer is yes on local bus services, but have no idea what “plus what councils accept the companion section of it please?.” means.

  14. Mr Lee Luckham

    Can I use my east sussex english national bus all over england, plus what councils accept the companion section of it please?.

  15. Chris

    I have a friend who has a disabled companion bus pass, with myself as the carer, my question is therefore, is this pass valid in all county’s of the uk, or just the one of issue etc

  16. admin Post author

    the best thing to do is to go to our ‘where to apply’ pages find your local council website ‘disabled bus passes ‘ page and you’ll get guidance there.

  17. kevin

    Hi i have psoriatic arthritis which means you joined swell together would I qualify for a bus pass

  18. Bridget Parsons

    My husband has anxiety problems .He goes to see his 82 year old mother
    after he has done his job. Search
    he has to pay. His bus fair is there any way a round this

  19. Robert Scott

    Hi please can you help, my wife has cancer which has affected her walking as she Is receiving pip benefits, would she be eligible for a disabled bus pass

  20. Bev Williams

    Hello. Can I use a pensioner’s or a disabled person’s bus pass issued in Wales (Cardiff specifically) to get discounts on travel in London at all? Or is our only option to buy a normal Oyster card?
    Thank you.

  21. admin Post author

    Yes any bus pass issued in England can be used thoughout England on local bus services. This applies to London buses, but not other methods of transport e.g Tube

  22. admin Post author

    You need to check the information from your local (County or city) bus pass office, which you can find from:


    I have taken the following at random from the Bedfordshire bus pass information, but you need to check what it says on your local website:
    Entitlement for a bus pass on grounds of disability is likely to be ‘automatic’ if you are in receipt of one of the following:

    • Higher Rate of MOBILITY Component of Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment (PIP) of 8 points or more for “Moving Around” or “Communicating Verbally”
    • War Pensioners’ MOBILITY Supplement (WPMS)/ Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Tariff 1-8.
    • Disabled persons’ parking badge (Blue Badge)

    (there are other grounds for a disabled bus pass listed)

  23. Jessica Blewitt

    I am just wondering if I am eligible for a buss pass as I get disability living allowance which includes low rate for mobility. Thank you

  24. admin Post author

    We contacted the Freedom Pass office about this, who said: In London the ENCTS is called the Freedom Pass.

    The ENCTS Disabled pass depends on the local authority. As London does not issue a carers pass some authorities outside London do.

  25. Nadia

    I am writing on behalf of my son who is 31 and a severely disabled wheelchair user. He is unable to use his legs arms and has no speech. He has a Freedom pass and for years he would get on a bus with his personal assistants (one each time) as he cannot get on a bus on his own. We had always assumed as the drivers let them swipe our sons Freedom pass and allow them to travel free that this was how it worked. But no…. at the begining of the month one of his personal assistants received an £80 fine as she had not swiped her own oyster card. She was told by the inspector that she should apply for a carers pass which none of us think even exists!!!? I feel my son is being discriminated against for being severely disabled. Someone can get on with a freedom pass and 4 children under 11 for free yet he has to pay for his personal assistant, totally cancelling out the free travel of the freedom pass.

  26. JH

    This is to prevent fraud and as they class g criterion reason as ‘temporary’ illnesses.

  27. JH


    Off the top of my head, East Sussex, West Sussex, Dorset, Suffolk only issue, under criterion g (the vague one!!) passes for a year.

  28. admin Post author

    We could only guess at the answer, it would be reasonable to ask your local bus pass office for an explanation.

  29. Ian

    I have a five year disabled bus pass, but my friend has recently received theirs and its only been issued for one year. Why is that?

  30. JH

    …but if you’re not in London, then it’s your own county’s rules. Sorry – forgot to add that

  31. JH

    London now allows any-time travel on buses with Freedom / ENCTS passes, so, yes, Carol, by bus you can travel anytime on ‘red buses’

  32. admin Post author

    We agree that a person could be receiving Disabled Living Allowance and have a Bus Pass, or could hold one or the other, depending on circumstances.

  33. JH

    Receiving DLA and being in receipt of a free bus pass are not mutually exclusive I.e. One hold a bus pass, but not receive DLA, and, equally, receive DLA, but not hold a bus pass.

    Type in And bus pass into google to find the form to fill-in

  34. Hayley

    Hi my name is Hayley I was born with cerebral palsy I just fort I ask you Sotheby’s thing can I get a disabled buss pass and still get the higher rate mobbity I fort I check it out

  35. SDB

    I have a Derbyshire Gold Card as I am disabled. Will this also allow free travel on the Manchester Metro?
    Thank you.

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