Free bus pass: You might be able to travel for free if your health is stopping you drive

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Sadiq Khan quizzed by pensioner on future of free bus passes

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A free bus pass also applies to those who reach state pension age but the Government is currently planning to increase this threshold from 66 to 67 between the years of 2026 and 2028. A further increase is expected in 2048, which will see the UK state pension age go up to 68.

However, the eligibility criteria for a free disabled person’s bus pass remains the same.

To qualify, a person must be blind, partially sighted, deaf, unable to speak, unable to walk very far due to a disability, or have an illness or injury that has a substantial and long-term effect on their mobility

Those who do not have arms or cannot use their arms are also eligible.

People do not need to have a physical health problem in order apply.

Those living with a severe learning disability are eligible for a free bus pass.

This also includes anyone who has been refused a driving licence because of their health under section 92 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Those who qualify get to travel for free by bus anywhere in England, or receive 30 percent off their rail tickets should they wish to travel by train.

They can travel for free any time between 9:30am and 11pm Monday to Friday.

On Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays, they are entitled to free travel throughout the day.

Certain local authorities do permit travel during the morning rush hour or on trams, however this varies with each council. 

A free bus pass can be used on most London buses but it cannot be used on National Express coaches, airport services or commuter coaches and tours.

A person can apply two weeks before their eligibility commences.

They should then receive their bus pass within ten working days.

Someone else can apply on their behalf if they need help with the application.

A free bus pass is renewed automatically and a person will be sent a new one in the post before their current one runs out. 

It is important to contact the council should a person not receive their free bus pass a month before it runs out.

If a person moves, they must also send in their pass to the local council and re-apply to the council located in their new address. 

It costs £10 to replace damaged, lost or stolen free bus passes.

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People who don’t qualify for a disabled person’s freedom pass can ask their council for a discretionary bus pass. 

London boroughs may, at their discretion under exceptional circumstances, issue these to disabled people who do not meet the statutory requirements.

People can appeal to the council if their bus pass application is refused.

In addition, it is possible to apply for a free door-to-door bus service run by Transport for London (TfL).

This service, known as Dial-a-Ride, is only offered to those with a long-term disability or if a person is over 85 years old.

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