Frequently asked questions about concessionary bus passes
If you have moved since your last bus pass was issued and have not notified us of your change of address, please take evidence of your current address (eg council tax or bill, bank statement) to a participating library to arrange for a renewal pass to be issued to you.
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
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
(Click the arrows below to reveal the answers)
If an age-related pass holder wants to replace a lost, damaged or destroyed bus pass there is a £5 replacement charge. This can be done online, or at a participating library who can accept both card and cash payments, and arrange for the new bus pass to be ordered and posted to the customer.
If a disability-related pass holder wants a replacement bus pass there is a £5 replacement charge. This can be done by visiting a participating library only.
I am an age-related bus pass holder and my current bus pass is due to expire soon.
What should I do?
The expiry date is shown on your pass.
Your pass will be automatically renewed if you have used it within the last 13 months. However, if you have only used your bus pass in London (where the Oyster system does not record your journey) you will need to visit a local participating library who can arrange a free renewal bus pass for you.
If you have moved since your last bus pass was issued and we have not been informed you will need to visit a participating library with proof of your current address.
My age-related pass has now expired but I have not received a new one.
What should I do?
If you have not received your new bus pass this may be due to the following reasons:
- You have not used the bus pass within the last 13 months
- You have only used your bus pass in London where the bus passes are not recorded on the Oyster ticket machine
- You have moved since your last bus pass was issued and not informed us. Note: the bus pass section is not notified of your change of address by District Council Council Tax departments or other Gloucestershire County Council departments. If you have moved you will need to take evidence of your current address to a participating library for staff to amend your details and arrange for a renewal pass.
If you have not moved please visit a participating library to renew your bus or contact us on 01452 426265.
What do I do with a bus pass which is no longer needed?
If a bus pass is no longer needed, or if someone has died, then the pass should be returned to the address on the back of the card, with a covering letter explaining the reason why.
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 a companion, we need to see evidence of your qualifying disability.
Can I use my disability-related with a 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 in Gloucestershire?
Under normal circumstances, you can travel free if you board the bus between 9.30 am and 11 pm 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. N94.
Gloucestershire County Council offer the Statutory Scheme, as required by law, which is Monday to Friday 9:30 am to 11:00 pm* and all day Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays ( but not on the late-night buses, after 11 pm)
*In some rural areas where there are very limited bus services customers may be able to use their pass on a bus before 09:30 am. The list of these services is on the GCC web site, under Transport.
Where can I use my bus pass?
Your bus pass is valid for use on all registered Bus services within England, so if you are visiting other places you should be able to use your pass. It is not valid in Wales* or Scotland. *A. Customer who lives in Gloucestershire, but near Welsh border can use their pass to get to near Welsh Towns Chepstow or Monmouth but not to travel on around Wales.
Can I use my bus pass on Night Buses, such as N94 (Chelt to Glos)
No, concessionary bus passes are not accepted on the night Buses.
What time can I use my bus pass outside of Gloucestershire?
You may find that residents in areas outside of Gloucestershire area can use their bus pass at other times, eg: before 09:30 am for example, but visitors cards will not be accepted until 09:30, which is the time laid down that all authorities must allow use.
Can I use my bus pass on Park and Ride Services and Airport Transport Services?
Park and Ride Services and Airport Transport Services: it will be necessary to check with the Bus Operator or the Local authority for that area, prior to travel if they accept concessionary bus passes, and if any charges apply. Concessionary Bus passes are accepted on Gloucestershire Park and Ride services, but only as a concession and a reduced bus fare will still apply.
Can I use my bus pass in London?
In London, you can use your card on buses but not on the Underground Train services. If your card does not scan the driver should accept it providing that it's in date and the photograph is valid. If you have any problems using your card, it will be necessary for you to contact the bus company directly. We would suggest you keep your bus ticket as it may have information on it such as the bus journey, driver number, time etc which will help them investigate this matter for you.
Can I use my bus pass on National Express Services?
No, your bus pass cannot be used on National Express services.
Can I use my pass for train journeys?
GCC understand there was a discount being offered for some local train travel. However, GCC has not been involved in this. For further information contact: The National Rail enquiries telephone number is 08457 484950.
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 the expiry date shown on your card. 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 landlines. 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?
Please return the bus pass to the address on the back of the card with a note explaining the reason for return so we can update our records.
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 on our bus operator contacts page.
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
I have moved out of Gloucestershire. What do I do about my concessionary bus pass?
You will need to apply to your new local authority for a new pass. The way of applying may be different to the way you applied in Gloucestershire. As required under the Gloucestershire Terms and Conditions the Gloucestershire pass should be returned to GCC, return address is on the back of the pass.
I have moved into Gloucestershire. What do I do about my concessionary bus pass?
You will need to apply to this authority for a new pass. Normally other local authorities require customers to return their old bus passes pass to them, return address is on the back of the pass.