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Bus passes and concessionary travel

Concessionary travel - frequently asked questions

Where can I get an application form?
How soon can I apply for an older person's bus pass?
I have applied for a concession but I haven’t received it.
How do I know if I have an older persons pass or a disabled person’s pass or a companion pass?
When can I use my older person’s pass?
When can I use my disabled person’s bus pass?
When can I use my companion pass?
Can I change my older person’s bus pass for a disabled person’s bus pass or a companion pass?
Can I change my vouchers for a bus pass?
Why do different conditions apply in Southampton and Portsmouth?
What do I need to do to get a companion pass?
When travelling with a Companion pass, is there an upper or lower age limit for the companion?
Can I have a bus pass and vouchers?
Do you know which taxi operators and voluntary care groups are going to accept the vouchers?
My pass cannot be read by the ticket machines
Will I be able to enjoy free travel everywhere within the UK?
If I visit an area that offers additional services, will I be entitled to them?
Will I be entitled to use my pass in London?
What do I do if I lose my bus pass?
How long is my bus pass valid for?
How do I renew my pass or vouchers?
Can I transfer my details and bus pass if I move from a different county to Hampshire?
Will Hampshire County Council be providing help with railcards under the concessionary fares scheme?
Can I transfer between concessions if my circumstances change?
What do I do if I move house?

Where can I get an application form?

How soon can I apply for an older person's bus pass?
Your eligibility for an older person’s bus pass is now based upon the pensionable age of a woman.  To find out when you will be eligible, please visit the pension website.  You will need to enter your date of birth and if you look at the last question in your results you will see the date you are eligible for an older persons concessionary bus pass. Please note that you are no longer eligible from your 60th birthday

Once you have the correct date then you can apply up to 2 months prior to reaching your eligible date. Your pass will be sent to you shortly before your travel concession begins.  

I have applied for a concession but I haven’t received it.
If your application is completed correctly, with the correct accompanying evidence, it will be processed and with you within 15 working days.  If, however, evidence is missing or the form is not completed correctly this will delay your application.

How do I know if I have an older persons pass or a disabled person’s pass or a companion pass?
If you have a blue stripe on the right hand side of the pass it is an older person’s pass. If it has an orange stripe on the right hand  side it is a disabled person’s pass.  If the pass is a companion pass this will have an orange stripe with a C in the right hand corner with a plus sign.

When can I use my older person’s pass?
You can travel free from 9am to 11pm Monday to Friday and all day weekends and public holidays on journeys which start in Hampshire regardless of where you are travelling to. However this excludes Southampton and Portsmouth who issue their own concessions.

For journeys starting outside of Hampshire which includes Southampton and Portsmouth you can travel for free only after 9.30am Monday–Friday and all day at weekends and bank holidays.

When can I use my disabled person’s bus pass?
Your pass can be used for free all day travel on journeys which start in Hampshire (excludes Portsmouth and Southampton), regardless of where you are travelling to.   

For journeys starting outside of Hampshire including Southampton and Portsmouth you can travel for free only after 9.30am Monday–Friday and all day at weekends and bank holidays.

When can I use my companion pass?
You can use your companion pass all day every day in Hampshire (excluding Southampton and Portsmouth).  Pass holders can travel with or without a companion under the terms of the disabled person’s bus pass.  Companions however can only get free travel when they accompany the pass holder.   For children a companion pass will only be issued only on the basis of disability and not age.

Companion passes are an enhancement to the national travel scheme and it is unlikely that companions will be allowed to travel free on journeys starting outside of Hampshire (including Southampton and Portsmouth). Please check with the relevant authority in the area to which you intend to travel.  However the pass holder will be able to use the pass outside of Hampshire under the disabled pass conditions after 9.30am.

As from April 2013 we have a reciprocal arrangement with Wiltshire Council that companions who are travelling with a companion pass holder can travel at no cost on journeys starting in Wiltshire after 09.30 Monday to Friday and all day at weekends/bank holidays.

Can I change my older person’s bus pass for a disabled person’s bus pass or a companion pass?
Yes, if you meet the eligibility criteria - you will need to complete a new application form enclosing the relevant evidence and return your current concession.

Can I change my vouchers for a bus pass?
Yes, vouchers can be exchanged for a disabled person’s bus. You will need to return your vouchers at the time of your request. If you have already used some vouchers in the current financial year you will need to send a payment to the value of the used vouchers before a disabled bus pass can be issued.

Why do different conditions apply in Southampton and Portsmouth?
The national standard is that both disabled and older person bus passes must be valid for free travel after 9.30am and before 11pm Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and bank holidays.  Hampshire County Council have decided to enhance this for their residents by funding free travel all day every day for both disabled and companion pass holders and have extended the start of the day from 9.30am to 9am for older persons passes. Southampton and Portsmouth are unitary authorities and are not part of Hampshire County Council so the national standard applies.

What do I need to do to get a companion pass?
Complete a new application form and provide a letter from a healthcare professional e.g. physiotherapist, podiatrist, nurse etc. confirming that you are unable to travel alone for medical reasons.

When travelling with a Companion pass, is there an upper or lower age limit for the companion?
There is no age limit. The suitability of the companion is entirely at the discretion and responsibility of the companion pass holder. However you can only have one companion travelling free of charge with you.

Can I have a bus pass and vouchers?
No, applicants will only be allowed one form of concession.

Do you know which taxi operators and voluntary care groups are going to accept the vouchers?
We do have a list of taxi operators who will accept these, but this is not a comprehensive list and only includes those operators who have informed us of their participation of the scheme. Please note it may not be possible to book a particular company at a specific time. We will also add voluntary care groups to this list, if they let us know that they will accept vouchers.  

We advise customers to always check with their operators or voluntary care groups that they will accept Hampshire County Council Travel Vouchers before travelling.

My pass cannot be read by the ticket machines
You need to contact the Concessionary Fares Team on 0845 045 8355

Will I be able to enjoy free travel everywhere within the UK?
No, the concession will only apply to journeys within England.

If I visit an area that offers additional services, will I be entitled to them?
Probably not. As a general rule, local authorities will only provide additional services for their own residents. Some authorities, however, may provide them - check with the relevant authority in the area you intend to travel.

Will I be entitled to use my pass in London?
If you've got a National Concessionary pass from an English council outside London you can use it at any time on buses in London displaying this symbol.London bus symbol

On buses not showing this sign check with the driver - most will let you travel free between 09:30 and 23:00 on weekdays and at any time on weekends and public holidays.

What do I do if I lose my bus pass?
If you lose or damage your bus pass, we can replace it at a cost of £10.

Payment can be made by credit/debit card by calling 0845 045 8355 and giving your name, address and date of birth and the replacement will be sent to you within 10 working days.

Or please apply in writing with your name, address and date of birth enclosing a £10 payment made payable to Hampshire County Council to the Concessionary Travel, PO Box 696, FAREHAM, PO14 9PD. A photo is not required, however you can submit a new one if you want to.

We will not charge this fee if the pass has been stolen, provided you have told the police and have received an official crime number for the incident.

How long is my bus pass valid for?
The expiry date is printed on your bus pass. Future passes will expire in 4-5 years depending on which month your birthday is in.

Example: for new applicants, if your birthday is 2nd June, and you apply for a pass in September 2013, the card will expire 2nd June 2018.

How do I renew my pass or vouchers?

We will renew your pass automatically for up to five years after checking eligible users for changes in their circumstances. This will include checks with registration services, and other databases including the National Fraud Initiative.

If you apply for vouchers and are eligible, we will renew these automatically. If you move your new details need to be updated on the Hampshire County Council database for all future renewals.

Can I transfer my details and bus pass if I move from a different county to Hampshire?
There isn't any provision for transferring a persons details and bus pass from one county to another. You will have to make a fresh application on moving to Hampshire. However you can continue to use your bus pass within Hampshire (until it's expiry date) after 9.30am and before 11pm weekdays and any time weekends and bank holidays.  It would be advantageous to apply for a Hampshire pass as it would then allow you to travel after 9am on weekdays. When applying for a Hampshire bus pass please ensure you tick the new user box rather than the existing user as this will be your first bus pass with Hampshire.

Will Hampshire County Council be providing help with railcards under the concessionary fares scheme?
Railcards are no longer a concession issued with this scheme.  You can however still purchase railcards from railway stations.

Can I transfer between concessions if my circumstances change?
Yes. For example, if you currently have an older persons pass and wish to change it to a disabled pass you will need to complete a new application form and send it to us with your existing pass.

What do I do if I move house?
Please notify Hampshire County Council otherwise when your concession needs renewing it will go to the wrong address.  You can do this by email, letter or phone.

 

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