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Concessionary Fares - Bus Passes

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English National Concessionary Travel (Bus Pass) Scheme

Older people or those with certain disabilities who are permanently resident in England are entitled to a National Bus Pass. A National Bus Pass entitles the pass-holder to free off-peak travel on local buses anywhere in England.

Bus passes issued by the Borough of Poole and those issued by Bournemouth Borough Council and Dorset County Council for the Christchurch area bear the "connect" logo.

Who Can Have a Bus Pass?

Older people or those with certain disabilities who are permanent residents of Poole are eligible for a Bus Pass

  • older residents

  • residents with certain disabilities

Older residents

On the 6 April 2010 the state pension age for women changed. As the pensionable age for women gradually increases from 60 to 66 and over, so too will the age of eligibility for a Bus Pass for both men and women.

The age of eligibility will rise in stages between 2010 and 2020, meaning the earliest age for men and women to get a bus pass is gradually increasing.

To find out when you become eligible for your bus pass use the table below or check your State Pension age on GOV.UK. If you are still unsure about when you will become eligible from, please contact us for help. Please do not submit your application more than two weeks before the date you are eligible for a bus pass. Applications made before this may be refused and returned.

Customer Date Of Birth

Date from which the customer qualifies for pension age Concessionary Travel Pass

Up to 05/02/1953

Already Eligible for Bus Pass

06/02/53 – 05/03/53

06/01/2016

06/03/53 – 05/04/53

06/03/2016

06/04/53 – 05/05/53

06/07/2016

06/05/53 – 05/06/53

06/11/2016

06/06/53 – 05/07/53

06/03/2017

06/07/53 – 05/08/53

06/07/2017

06/08/53 – 05/09/53

06/11/2017

06/09/53 – 05/10/53

06/03/2018

06/10/53 – 05/11/53

06/07/2018

06/11/53 – 05/12/53

06/11/2018

06/12/53 – 05/01/54

06/03/2019

06/01/54 – 05/02/54

06/05/2019

06/02/54 – 05/03/54

06/07/2019

06/03/54 – 05/04/54

06/09/2019

06/04/54 – 05/05/54

06/11/2019

06/05/54 – 05/06/54

06/01/2020

06/06/54 – 05/07/54

06/03/2020

06/07/54 – 05/08/54

06/05/2020

06/08/54 – 05/09/54

06/07/2020

06/09/54 – 05/10/54

06/09/2020

From         06/10/54

66 th Birthday

 

Residents with certain disabilities

If you are not eligible by reason of age you must have a disability that falls into one or more of the following categories (specific evidence will be required):

  • blind or partially sighted

  • profoundly or severely deaf

  • without speech

  • without arms or have long term loss of the use of both arms

  • have a learning disability. The disability must have started before adulthood and have a lasting effect on development with a reduced ability to understand new or complex information, a difficulty in learning new skills and you may be unable to cope independently

  • have been or would be refused a driving licence for medical reasons (excluding the misuse of drugs or alcohol)

  • have a disability, or suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on your ability to walk

  • member or veteran of the armed services seriously injured in service

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When and where can a bus pass be used?

Your bus pass will allow free off-peak travel on local buses anywhere in England. Off-peak hours are from 09.30am until 11.00pm Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and Bank Holidays.

Residents who are Blind or Partially Sighted may travel without time restriction provided they board the bus within the Poole, Bournemouth or Christchurch borough areas. These passes bear the "All Day Local" logo.

How to use a Bus Pass

Most buses operating in the Poole area have special bus pass readers attached to the ticket machines. You should place your bus pass on the reader and wait for the driver to confirm that the pass has been accepted. There is normally a ‘beep’ sound from the ticket machine to confirm that the bus pass has been recognised.  You are not required to state which stop you are travelling to and will not be issued with a paper ticket for your journey. You do not need your pass for getting off the bus.

Some buses, including those operating in other areas of England, do not have bus pass readers. You will be asked to show the pass to the driver who will manually record your journey on the ticket machine. In some parts of the country, for example Devon, you will need to tell the driver where you are travelling to and you will be issued with a paper ticket for the journey.

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How to apply for a Bus Pass 

You must be a permanent Poole resident. If you have more than one residence, Poole must be your principal residence. 


Apply for your bus pass online


Applying for your bus pass by post

To apply for your bus pass by post you will need an application form. You will need to provide :

  • A completed application  (obtained from most libraries). Alternatively you can request one to be emailed to you by telephoning 01202 634249. It is also possible to post a form to you but this will take 3 working days to arrive. You will need to return it by post to the address on the form. If you have a disability that would prevent you from making a postal application, assistance can be provided at Poole Civic Centre. This service is offered on an appointment only basis. Appointments can be made by telephoning 01202 634249.

  • A recent passport-sized photograph. Photographs must be standard passport size (45mm x 35mm) and in colour. You must be looking forward facing the camera with nothing covering your face or head unless worn for religious reasons. Photographs must be taken against a pale or neutral background and should be of a good quality (not under or overexposed). Lightly write your name on the back of the photograph.

  • Proof of residence. Acceptable proof - a copy of one of the following items with the applicant's name and address:

    • council tax bill

    • rental agreement

    • driving licence

    • NHS Medical card (not a GP registration form)

    • utility bill (dated within the last 3 months)

    Please do not send original documents. You will need one document from each category (ie submit 2 different documents).
  • Proof of age or disability

Acceptable proof of age (Category 1) - a copy of one of the following items with the applicant’s date of birth:

      • birth certificate

      • passport

      • driving licence

      • Department of Work and Pensions letter which shows your date of birth confirming state retirement pension

Please do not send original documents.

Acceptable proof of disability (Categories 2-9) - a copy of evidence for one of the following qualifying categories:

2. Blind or partially sighted

Evidence: You will need to send a copy of your Borough of Poole Adult Social Services Pink or White registration card or provide a Certificate of Vision Impairment signed by a Consultant Ophthalmologist.

3. Profoundly or severely deaf

Evidence: You will need to send a copy of your Borough of Poole Adult Social Services Yellow registration card or a copy of a supporting letter from a medical professional (e.g. aural specialist) stating that your hearing is at 70+dBHL.

4. Without speech

Evidence: You will need to send a copy of your Borough of Poole Social Services Yellow registration card or  your Personal Independance Payment (PIP) Award of 8 points or more under the 'communicating verbally' category or a letter from a medical professional confirming that you are unable to communicate orally in any language. This does not include slow or difficult to understand speech.

5. Without arms or have long term loss of the use of both arms

Evidence: A copy of a letter from a medical professional confirming that you have a long-term loss of the use of both arms i.e. greater than 12 months.

6. Have a learning disability. The disability must have started before adulthood and have a lasting effect on development with a reduced ability to understand new or complex information, a difficulty in learning new skills and you may be unable to cope independently.

Evidence: You will need to send a copy of your Borough of Poole Adult Social Services Blue registration card or a copy of evidence of receiving specialist services e.g. from Social Services or are receiving/have received a Statement of Special Educational Needs as a child. 

7. Have been or would be refused a driving licence for medical reasons (excluding the misuse of drugs or alcohol)

Evidence: You will need to send a copy of a letter from the DVLA either refusing or withdrawing your driving licence for medical reasons or a copy of other medical evidence confirming that a driving licence would not be granted to you based on your medical condition because it would be unsafe for you to do so.

8. Have a disability, or suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on your ability to walk

Evidence (one of the following):

  • Copy of evidence that you are in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) award of 8 points of more for the Mobility Component
     

  • Copy of Blue disability registration card from Borough of Poole Adult Social Services

  • Copy of current Disabled Person’s Blue Parking Badge

9. Member or Veteran of the Armed Services seriously injured in service.

Evidence: An award letter for a War Pensioners Mobility Allowance or an award letter for guaranteed income payment for tariff levels 1-8 under the 2005 Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. 

Please do not send original documents.  

How long will it be before I receive my Bus Pass?

Bus pass applications are normally processed and, if everything is in order, posted out within 3 working days of receipt.

Travel Companions

The Borough of Poole will provide, on application, a companion pass to severely disabled residents of Poole who are only able to access local bus services with the assistance of a travelling companion.

The pass will bear the "C+" logo  and will entitle a companion to free bus travel when travelling with the Bus Pass holder on journeys that start within the Poole, Bournemouth or Christchurch borough areas. For journeys starting outside these areas, Travel Companions will be required to pay a fare. It does not need to be the same travelling companion for all journeys undertaken.

If you would like to apply for a Bus Pass that includes a Travel Companion you will need to complete a Travel Companion Application Form in addition to the Concessionary Travel Application Form. To add a Travel Companion to an existing Bus Pass the Travel Companion Application Form must be completed. Information can be found on the Travel Companion Application Form page and can be downloaded or you can request one to be posted to you by telephoning Concessionary Fares on 01202 634249.

Cancelled Bus Passes

Concessionary bus pass users in Poole are advised to check they are using the correct bus pass as invalid passes can no longer be used on buses.

Bus operators and councils throughout the South West of England have switched to ‘hotlisting’ - a term used when cancelling invalid bus passes electronically.

Local councils across Dorset and the wider South West region are hotlisting any invalid passes which are part of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS), in a bid to reduce the number of these in circulation and significantly reduce the risk of fraud.

Bus passes are hotlisted if:

  • the original pass has been reported either lost or stolen and been replaced with a new pass.

  • the relevant council wrote to a pass-holder and the letter was returned by the Royal Mail indicating the pass holder may have moved address.

  • the relevant council wrote to a pass-holder asking for up to date proof of eligibility or to return the pass.

Any invalid passes will be withdrawn and retained by the bus driver.  If a pass is withdrawn and the driver is satisfied that the user is the person identified on the pass, the user will still be able to make that journey.   However all future journeys will need to be paid for until either the correct pass is used or a new valid pass obtained.

Hotlisting Frequently Asked Questions

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What to do if you lose or damage your Bus Pass

There is a charge of £10 to replace passes that have been lost or are damaged. You will need a credit or debit card to replace passes on-line or by telephone. If your bus pass has been stolen, you will need to obtain a Police crime number. You will then not be charged for your replacement pass. If you do not have a valid number there is a £10 charge for your replacement pass.

If your lost pass was issued by another council and you have moved to Poole since it was issued, you will not be able to replace it on-line or by telephone. You will need to complete an application form for a Borough of Poole bus pass and send a photograph and the required evidence.

It is not possible to apply in person for a replacement bus pass. You will be able to replace your Borough of Poole bus pass online or by telephone using a credit or debit card.

Online:

Apply for a replacement bus pass

Phone:

If you want to replace your lost, stolen or damaged bus pass by telephone, please call 01202 634249.

By Post:  

Please send a £10 cheque (payable to the Borough of Poole) with your name and address to Transportation Services, Borough of Poole, Civic Centre, Poole, BH15 2RU. We will endeavour to process the application within three working days for posting back to you (all applications are posted 2nd class).

 

What to do if your bus pass is due for renewal

Do not worry. The majority of passes are renewed automatically and you should receive your new pass in the post before the expiry date.

If your pass has been issued on the basis of a qualifying disability it may be necessary for us to ask you for confirmation of your on-going eligibility for a bus pass. If this is the case, we will write to you before your current bus pass expires to request up to date qualifying evidence.

If you have changed your address since your current bus pass was issued, please ensure that we have your up to date contact details by telephoning Concessionary Fares on 01202 634249.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I use my bus pass on any colour of bus?

A. Yes, all operators (both large and small) are participating in the scheme. In our local area this includes:

Q. Is it only applicable on buses?

A. Yes, the concession applies just to bus travel in England, including in London.

Q. Can I use my pass on long distance coach journeys?

A. No, however discounts for residents over 60 and younger disabled persons may be available. National Express offer a Senior Coachcard and a Disabled Person’s Coachcard.

Q. If I visit an area that offers additional services, such as local train travel, will I be entitled to use them?

A. Probably not. As a general rule local authorities will only provide additional services for their own residents.

Q. How can I plan my journey and find out bus times?

A.Telephone:
For general enquiries about bus services and journey planning advice, please contact Traveline.

A. Internet:
You can also visit websites www.travelinesw.com or www.gettingabout.co.uk

A. On your mobile phone:

NextBuses is the new way to get the next departures from any bus straight to your mobile phone. Live information is shown where available, otherwise scheduled times are given. It is designed to work on mobile phones that have internet access.

Q. What about travelling to the Hospital for an early appointment?

A. Hospitals will help with providing later appointments whenever possible. The NHS Choose and Book initiative offers patients more flexibility when booking hospital appointment times. Visit www.chooseandbook.nhs.uk  or telephone the appointments line on 0845 60 88 88 88 for further details.

However, on occasions, Poole Bus pass holders may need to travel before 09.30am on weekdays to attend appointments at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals.  In recognition of the longer bus journeys potentially required to reach these two hospitals a reimbursement scheme is available.  Patients should present their bus ticket at the hospital's General Office for a refund.  The ticket must have been issued for a single journey before 09.30am on the day of the appointment. You must also show your Poole Bus pass at the same time.

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Hotlisting - Frequently Asked Questions

 

1.    The Driver has told me my bus pass is Hotlisted – what does this mean?

A Hotlisted bus pass is a bus pass which has been cancelled electronically by the Council and is no longer valid for travel. 

2.    Why would my bus pass be cancelled?

There are three main reasons why a bus pass will have been cancelled:

a).      because the pass was reported as lost or stolen and it was replaced. You may have the new pass at home or in another bag or wallet.

b).      because your local council wrote to you about your pass and the letter was returned by the Royal Mail.  Have you changed address recently?

c).      because your local council wrote to you asking for up to date proof of eligibility or asking for you to return the pass.  Do you need to confirm your eligibility?

3.    The driver has withdrawn my card, and taken it from me – can they do this?

Yes – the council has asked bus drivers to remove hotlisted cards from users and return them to the Council, to reduce the number of cancelled cards in circulation. If your pass is withdrawn, you will still be allowed to make that journey, but will be required to pay for future journeys until your pass is replaced.

4.    I now have no bus pass – What do I do?

Contact your Local Authority.  The Borough of Poole bus pass team can be contacted on 01202 634249 or email transportation@poole.gov.uk.  A list of all bus pass teams in England can be found at www.swsal.co.uk.

5.    Do I now need to pay for travel?

Yes, you will now need to pay for travel until you receive your replacement bus pass (if you are eligible to receive one). It is important therefore that you contact your council as soon as possible to discuss and arrange this.

6.    Why can I not have more than one bus pass?

The bus pass is owned by the council, not the user. Each eligible resident is only entitled to one concessionary bus pass to reduce the likelihood of the pass being used by those who are not entitled to travel. When a user has a change in circumstance, such as moving to a different local authority, they must contact the new council and arrange for a replacement pass.

7.    My bus pass does not read correctly on the bus, but is not hotlisted

A concessionary bus pass can be used if it is in date, not hotlisted and the driver is satisfied that the picture on the pass is you. This remains the case even if the pass fails to work on the card reader (e.g. due to card or reader error).  As the pass is not hotlisted, it is unlikely it will be withdrawn, but you should still contact the council and let them know it didn’t work.

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