Bus passes issued within England under the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) are valid for use in London on London Buses. These passes have a red rose symbol on them.
Occasionally a bus driver may not be so clear on this point – based on messages we have received from bus pass holders (see below).
London buses do not now accept payment in cash for fares.
Under 11s can travel free on London buses and trams at any time whether accompanied with an adult or not. Children with a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard can travel free on most National Rail services where pay as you go is accepted – for more information https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/travel-for-under-18s/travelling-with-children
We took up with Transport for London the complaints with acceptance of cards issued outside London by some bus drivers and card readers on London buses.
In response the Customer Service Adviser, Transport for London Customer Services has provided a copy of the relevant page from the ‘London Bus Drivers’ Guide’ which can be shown to drivers in case of difficulty. (see below)
We recommend that you print a copy of this if you are planning a visit to London and plan to use your bus pass. London Bus Drivers Guide page 114
Please help us to help others by giving your feedback on your experience (good or not so good) using a bus pass in London, but issued outside London. Use the contact form below, and include please the issuing area e.g Staffordshire. No email addresses will be published.
(Click on the image above to get larger copy for printing)
London residents equivalent of the Bus Pass is known as a ‘Freedom Pass’ which also enable them to travel on Tube, rail or ferry services in London, but bus passes issued outside of London are not valid for these other transport services. London ratepayers pay for use of these additional transport services .
There are other options for saving on Tube fares in London, e.g.
- Holders of Senior Rail Cards get 1/3rd off tube fares.
- Get a Visitors Oyster Card
Holders of bus passes issued in Merseyside or Greater London from age 60 (i.e. earlier than the ENCTS) should note that these passes cannot be used outside their home area – these passes don’t have a red rose symbol on them.