Concessionary bus passes

Important news for disabled bus pass holders with the ‘companion’ enhancement

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The council has been reviewing whether or not to retain the companion enhancement which applies to some disabled bus passes where the pass holder has been assessed as being unable to travel without the support of a companion.

The council has decided not to withdraw the companion entitlement; however it is reviewing the criteria for assessing eligibility for a companion pass and is also considering whether to introduce an annual charge for this discretionary enhancement. Disabled bus passes with the companion enhancement will have ‘+C’ in the top right hand corner. Most disabled bus passes are issued without the companion enhancement and these passes are unaffected by the proposals.

If you have a disabled bus pass with the companion enhancement, the council will be writing to you shortly to ask you for your views on the proposed changes. You do not need to do anything now.

The council will also be providing a drop in session for companion pass holders on Thursday 5 January 2017 between 3pm and 7pm in The Studio at the Dolphin Centre for pass holders who would like to discuss their need for a companion pass face to face. If you would be interested in attending the drop in session, please let us know by calling 01325 406699 by Friday 23 December to book a place.

If you have reached pension age or are eligible disabled you can travel free of charge anywhere in England between 9:30am and 11pm on weekdays and at any time on weekends and bank holidays, using a concessionary bus pass.

Darlington has enhanced the national scheme and offers companion passes for those who require assistance to travel by bus within the Borough.

Who can apply?

  • those who are of the pensionable age, applicable to a woman (irrespective of whether you are male or female) - find out  your pensionable age [external link]
  • those who meet the national criteria for Travel Disability as someone who:
    • is blind or partially sighted
    • is profoundly or severely deaf
    • is without speech
    • has a disability, or has suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to walk,
    • does not have arms or has long-term loss of the use of both arms
    • has a learning disability, that is, a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning
    • would, if he/she applied for the grant of a licence to drive a motor vehicle under Part lll of the Road Traffic Act 1988, have the application refused pursuant to section 92 of that Act (physical fitness) for example - on the grounds of epilepsy or a severe mental disorder. Persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol does not qualify you for a bus pass

How to apply

If you think may be eligible for a concessionary bus pass, you will need to:

I've lost my pass, what do I do?

If you think you lost your pass while using public transport, contact the appropriate operator. Call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 if you are unsure which operator’s service you were on.

If the operator has not found your pass, you will need to contact customer services and request that a replacement pass is sent out to you. There is an administrative charge of £10 for the replacement pass. If your pass was stolen and you can provide a crime reference number, this charge will not apply.

My concessionary pass is a smart pass, how do I use it?

How to use a smart pass [pdf document]

My smart concessionary pass does not work, what do I do?

If your pass doesn’t work on the reader you will need to contact the council who issued you with the pass.

If your pass doesn’t work because it has been reported lost or stolen to your issuing authority or if it has expired you will have to pay the normal full adult fare to travel.

If the problem has arisen because your pass is faulty, then the issuing authority will issue you with a replacement pass free of charge. You will still be allowed to travel but it is important that a replacement pass is ordered for you straight away.

You will keep the faulty pass until the replacement arrives. When your new pass is delivered, the old faulty pass will need to posted back to your issuing authority.  The old pass can then be sent for testing to find out why it hasn’t worked.

If a faulty pass is repeatedly used over a period of time and the issuing authority has not been contacted for a replacement pass, then the faulty card will be hotlisted to prevent its further use.

If your pass doesn’t work and the bus driver tells you it needs to be changed, contact customer services on 01325 405222.

Remember, only the council that issued you with the faulty pass can order a replacement.

Information for bus operators

Statutory notice to bus operators 2016/2017 [pdf document]

Is Your Pass Valid?

Ticket machines on local bus services now indicate if a Concessionary Travel Pass is not valid for travel

For further information please click here for the pdf document