A national bus pass gives disabled and elderly people free off-peak local bus travel anywhere in England. The information below tells you how the scheme works.
From 6 April 2010, the age of eligibility for concessionary travel in England has been tied to the pensionable age for women. So, as the pensionable age for women gradually increases from 60 to 65 over the ten-year period from 2010 to 2020 so too will the age of eligibility for concessionary travel increase for both men and women.
The National bus concession enables users to get free off-peak travel on local buses anywhere in England.
Off-peak travel Monday to Friday 9.30am to 11pm, and all day at weekends and bank holidays.
Yes. Thurrock Council decided to give extra benefits to its entitled residents.
Thurrock has kept the earlier start time of 9am. This means you can use your bus pass for journeys within Thurrock or originating from Thurrock any time between 9am and 11pm.
Elsewhere you will only be able to use your bus pass from 9.30am. You will need to remember that on journeys back into Thurrock, your pass will only be accepted up to 11pm.
Thurrock also decided to keep the companion pass entitlement for people with disabilities who cannot travel unaided. The companion will be able to travel free when accompanying the pass holder for journeys only in Thurrock or for journeys which start in Thurrock.
For journeys back into Thurrock a fare would have to be paid for the companion.
Eligibility for a bus pass (based on age) is tied to the State Pension age - the earliest age at which you can claim your State Pension.
If you were born before 6 April 1950, you are eligible from your 60th birthday.
However, if you were born after 5 April 1950, you will need to check. The State Pension age for women is changing. This means that the age at which both men and women become eligible for a bus pass is changing too.
The age of eligibility for the state pension is scheduled to rise by two months every one month. This means the earliest date on which a person can obtain a bus pass will depend on which month they were born in and will not fall on their 60th birthday.
The table below shows a snapshot of ages and when those individuals would become eligible for their concessionary bus pass:
|Date of Birth||Date Eligible to Apply for Bus Pass|
|6 August 1951 to 5 September 1951||6 January 2013|
|6 September 1951 to 5 October 1951||6 March 2013|
|6 October 1951 to 5 November 1951||6 May 2013|
|6 November 1951 to 5 December 1951||6 July 2013|
|6 December 1951 to 5 January 1952||6 September 2013|
|6 January 1952 to 5 February 1952||6 November 2013|
|6 February 1952 to 5 March 1952||6 January 2014|
|6 March 1952 to 5 April 1952||6 March 2014|
|6 April 1952 to 5 May 1952||6 May 2014|
|6 May 1952 to 5 June 1952||6 July 2014|
|6 June 1952 to 5 July 1952||6 September 2014|
|6 July 1952 to 5 August 1952||6 November 2014|
|6 August 1952 to 5 September 1952||6 January 2015|
|6 September 1952 to 5 October 1952||6 March 2015|
|6 October 1952 to 5 November 1952||6 May 2015|
|6 November 1952 to 5 December 1952||6 July 2015|
|6 December 1952 to 5 January 1953||6 September 2015|
|6 January 1953 to 5 February 1953||6 November 2015|
|6 February 1953 to 5 March 1953||6 January 2016|
|6 March 1953 to 5 April 1953||6 March 2016|
|6 April 1953 to 5 May 1953||6 May 2016|
|6 May 1953 to 5 June 1953||6 July 2016|
|6 June 1953 to 5 July 1953||6 September 2016|
|6 July 1953 to 5 August 1953||6 November 2016|
|6 August 1953 to 5 September 1953||6 January 2017|
|6 September 1953 to 5 October 1953||6 March 2017|
|6 October 1953 to 5 November 1953||6 May 2017|
|6 November 1953 to 5 December 1953||6 July 2017|
|6 December 1953 to 5 January 1954||6 September 2017|
|6 January 1954 to 5 February 1954||6 November 2017|
|6 February 1954 to 5 March 1954||6 January 2018|
|6 March 1954 to 5 April 1954||6 March 2018|
|6 April 1954 to 5 May 1954||6 May 2018|
|6 May 1954 to 5 June 1954||6 July 2018|
|6 June 1954 to 5 July 1954||6 September 2018|
|6 July 1954 to 5 August 1954||6 November 2018|
|6 August 1954 to 5 September 1954||6 January 2019|
|6 September 1954 to 5 October 1954||6 March 2019|
|6 October 1954 to 5 November 1954||6 May 2019|
|6 November 1954 to 5 December 1954||6 July 2019|
|6 December 1954 to 5 January 1955||6 September 2019|
|6 January 1955 to 5 February 1955||6 November 2019|
|6 February 1955 to 5 March 1955||6 January 2020|
|6 March 1955 to 5 April 1955||6 March 2020|
|6 April 1955 to 5 April 1959||65th birthday|
You can also check the age at which you will be entitled to a apply for a bus pass using the State Pension age calculator below:
As a disabled person, you are eligible for a free bus pass if you:
You may apply for your pass at any time if you meet the criteria above.
An application form for new applicants, whether disabled or applying under the age criteria, is available below (please see how to access PDF files):
Alternatively, you can:
You can apply for your National Concessionary Bus Pass at your local library if you meet the age criteria. You can apply at all Thurrock libraries Monday to Saturday between 9am and 5pm. To check opening days and times, please select your local library from the list below:
You need to take with you one proof of age and two proofs of residence. Your photo will be taken free of charge.
If you are entitled to have a companion then your pass will have a +C on the right hand side. This will indicate to the driver your entitlement for a companion to assist you.
The National Concessionary bus pass is a plastic smart card containing a microchip which can store information electronically. Smartcards have a number of advantages, for example when used on smart card reading equipment, they are highly resistant to fraud.
In most areas the national pass will be used as a "flash pass" and be shown to the driver when boarding. However in some areas of England buses have smart electronic pass readers where passengers will be able to put their pass over the reader and it will be able to identify that the holder is entitled to a free journey.
At the moment the national pass will not work on electronic readers inside London, and should be used as a flash pass when travelling in London.
If you are unsure, please ask the driver for assistance when boarding the bus.
Providing that you have not changed address since you applied for your original bus pass, you will receive your renewed bus pass automatically. You will not need to supply a new photograph. Your new pass will be valid for 5 years. Your new pass will be sent to your home address.
A letter and a renewal application form will come to you automatically. You will need to provide proofs of disability. You will not need to supply a new photograph. Your new pass will be valid for 2 years. These details are necessary to ensure that your circumstances have not changed. You will also need to provide 2 proofs of address and 1 proof of age as well as proof of your disability.
Have you changed your address within the last 2 years? Is your bus pass due to expire soon?
If the answer is yes, then you will need to let the Passenger Transport Unit at Thurrock Council know of these changes. Please use the form linked below to send your change of details back to us no later than one calendar month prior to the expiry date of your bus pass.
Please use this form to notify the Passenger Transport Unit of your change of address (please see how to access PDF files):
Forms are also available from the same locations as applications forms, listed in the 'How do I apply for a national pass' section of this page.
If you need to have your bus pass replaced you will need to fill in the form below and send it, together with a cheque or postal order (made payable to Thurrock Council) for £10.00 to the address on the form.
Your replacement pass will be dated as the pass it's replacing.
If your bus pass is stolen you should report this to the police and make a note of the incident number you receive. You should then fill in the form below and post it to the address it states, there will be no fee if an incident number is supplied.
If you do not have an incident number a £10.00 admin charge will be payable and you should send a cheque or postal order (made payable to Thurrock Council) for this amount along with the form.
Please use this form when applying for a replacement bus pass if yours has been lost, damaged or stolen (please see how to access PDF files):
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 to which you intend to travel.
No. Because those benefits are paid for by the London authorities, only London Freedom Pass holders will be able to enjoy additional local travel on the tube, trains and trams. You will, however, be able to enjoy the statutory national concession of free off-peak bus travel when visiting the capital.
Thurrock Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds in order to prevent and detect fraud.
The Audit Commission appoints the auditor to audit the accounts of this authority, and they are also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.
Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how they match. This is usually personal information computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims of payments to be identified. Where a match is found it indicates that there is an inconsistency, which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until further detailed investigation is carried out.
The Audit Commission currently requires us to participate in a data-matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular data to the Audit Commission for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Audit Commission's guidance.
The use of data by the Audit Commission in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.
For further information, please see:
You can find out more about concessionary bus travel by visiting the Directgov web site:
Directgov: Travel and Transport - free bus travel and concessions
The Concessionary Travel Club website works in partnership with local authorities, government and other organisations working with older and disabled people, to suggest ideas for getting the most from concessionary travel:
Concessionary Travel Club - ideas for more than 20,000 destinations
For all other enquiries relating to the National Concessionary Bus Pass, please contact the Passenger Transport Unit by emailing PassengerTransport@thurrock.gov.uk or telephoning 01375 413886.