Frequently asked questions about concessionary bus passes
We manage and issue concessionary bus passes that give holders free travel on most local bus services running in Gloucestershire (and the rest of England) at certain times.
Residents are eligible for these passes on the grounds of:
- Age - they need to have reached the pensionable age for a woman irrespective of whether they are male or female
- A qualifying disability - find out if you are entitled
Age-related pass holders can:
Frequently asked questions about concessionary bus passes
If your question is not here you cannot find the information you need, please call the enquiry line on 01452 426265
I am an age-related bus pass holder and I have received a bus pass renewal letter. What should I do?
We are writing to all concessionary bus pass holders whose card expires on 31 March. When you get this letter you should follow the renewal instructions. If you have already renewed your pass, simply discard the letter.
You need to act now to get a new pass in good time. The letter comes with a personalised 'renewal code'.You should use this renewal code, along with the last four digits of your bus pass number, to renew online or by automated telephone.
I have received a letter to renew my bus pass but it does not show my current address, what should I do?
Please do not renew your bus pass online or by using the automated telephone service or else you will not receive your new bus pass. Please visit a library and staff will update your records there and then provided you take evidence of your new address, such as a council tax bill, utility bill or bank statement with you that shows these details.
I am a disabled pass holder; will I receive a bus pass renewal letter?
You should have received all the information you need by now. This might be a letter confirming your eligibility and asking if you wish to renew. Alternatively (depending on the level of information we hold about you), you might have received an application pack asking you to reapply. If you have not received either a letter or full pack call us straight away on 01452 426265.
Pass holders who are both disabled and of pensionable age but do not have "with companion" entitlement should have received a letter by now inviting them to renew their pass at a library. If you have not received this letter, call us straightaway on 01452 426265. You will receive an age-related pass.
There is no difference between an age-related and disability-related pass (except the colour of the card, blue and orange respectively); you can use either type of pass in the same way to get free travel at off-peak times anywhere in England.
Most young disabled (under 16) pass holders should have received a short form to return. The form will ask for a new passport sized photo, which will be printed on their new card. All young disabled pass holders must provide a new photo if they wish to renew. Under normal circumstances young disability related pass holders will not be required to complete a new application pack unless we have little or no evidence.
I currently have a disability-related bus pass with companion entitlement. Will this entitlement continue if I now receive an age-related bus pass?
No it is not possible to issue an age-related bus pass "with companion" entitlement. To be eligible for a disability-related bus pass with companion, we need to see evidence of your qualifying disability.
Can I use my disability-related with companion bus pass in other parts of England?
"With companion" entitlement is specific to Gloucestershire so may not be available elsewhere in England. Please check with the county council in the area you plan to visit.
When can I use my concessionary bus pass?
Under normal circumstances, you can travel free if you board the bus between 9.30am and 11pm on Mondays to Fridays and any time at weekends and bank holidays. However you may not be allowed to use your bus pass on night buses i.e. those with a number N10 or N94.
I have applied for my new bus pass, what should I do with my current pass?
You should continue to use your current pass, but then cut it up once your new pass arrives.
How long will it take to get a bus pass following a renewal/application?
The new pass should take no more than three weeks to arrive after you have applied, but you should apply as soon as possible because your current pass will stop working on 31 March. In the unlikely event that your pass does not arrive you should call 01452 426265.
Is there a charge for renewing my pass?
The new pass is free. However, an age-related pass holder will need to pay for postage or for the cost of the phone call if they use our telephone renewal service. Call costs are dependent on the service provider, and typically include a connection charge and an additional time based call rate. As a general rule it is usually cheaper to call during the evenings and weekends. Calls from mobiles are likely to be considerably higher than those from land lines. Calling from a land line will normally be cheaper than the cost of a 2nd class stamp.
Disability-related pass holders who are asked to reapply by completing a full application pack will also need to pay for postage. The county council will not reimburse you for any charges levied by medical specialists or advocates. However, we do recommend that 'recorded delivery' is used if valuable documents are being sent.
What if I no longer require a bus pass?
To help us update our information, pass holders should tick the "I no longer require a bus pass" on the renewal form and return it to the address provided.
What if my bus pass has been lost or destroyed?
If an age-related pass holder wants to renew by phone or online they will need the number from their current pass. If they do not have this they can only renew using the form supplied.
Disability related applicants do not need their current pass to get a new one because they renew their bus passes in a different way to age-related bus pass holders.
How long will my new bus pass be valid for?
Age-related passes will be valid for five years.
Disability-related passes can be valid for 1 - 5 years. This will depend on whether an applicant's disability is long or short term and also the type of disability 'proof' that is provided. For example, if an applicant provides a blue badge number as proof of entitlement, we will in most cases issue a bus pass that expires on the same date as their blue badge.
My new bus pass will not work when I place it on the smart card reader on the bus. What should I do?
We apologise for any inconvenience that this situation may have caused you. Bus companies have been informed that they should accept concessionary bus passes that cannot be read automatically provided that:
- The pass is valid for the journey being undertaken, for example at the right time of day
- It has NOT expired and
- It is being used by the person whose photograph and name appears on the pass.
My new bus pass has been refused by the driver. What should I do?
If you have difficulties, please report the matter immediately to the bus company on whose service you wanted to travel. Please provide them with as much detail as possible about the journey you wished to make. This should include: -
- The day and date you experienced difficulties
- The bus service number,
- Where you caught it and at what time, along with your destination.
Find out which bus company you wish to comment about: Bus operator contacts.
What is the cause of the card not working?
There are several factors that could cause your new bus pass not to work other than a faulty card or a fault with the on-bus ticketing equipment.
The most likely reason is that the issue of new concessionary bus passes coincides with changes being made nationally to the smart card operating system.
This situation is not unique to Gloucestershire; all concessionary bus passes have been issued as smart cards since 2008, but equipment to read the cards has only been installed and commissioned on buses operating within Gloucestershire since 2012.
This authority is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers and to this end may use the information you provide in your application for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes. For further information see www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/fairprocessing