Latest free bus pass update: Are you still eligible?

World News

Sadiq Khan quizzed by pensioner on future of free bus passes

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

In England, free bus passes are now available to those over the state pension age which is currently 66. However, there are also a variety of free and discounted travel options, especially for those living in London. Which are you eligible for?

Anyone looking to claim a free bus pass are advised to check the exact eligibility criteria and application process with their local council. 

Additionally, the postcode and age checker on the website can showcase when one can expect to be eligible for the bus pass. 

Potential applicants can find the checker here:

Those who do not know their exact postcode can utilise the Royal Mail’s postcode finder tool. 

The checkers enable claimants to check: 

  • How to apply for a bus pass from their local council
  • How to check if a person can get a bus pass sooner
  • Entering one’s postcode means individuals will be redirected to the website of their local authority where they can find out about the rules for their area

While the majority of English seniors have to wait until they turn 66, those living in London can receive free bus, tube and transport services from the age of 60. 

It is important to note that these services are only available within London and eligible seniors can check the Transport for London website to apply for their passes. 

Outside of England, Welsh citizens can receive their free bus pass across the country at the age of 60. 

The Scottish equivalent of a National Entitlement Card allows anyone over the age of 60 as well as those with a disability to receive free bus travel around Scotland and their local area. 

This card scheme provides for the cardholder and additional free travel for their companions where required for eligible disabled people of any age. 

The Northern Ireland SmartPass system is available for those aged 60 upwards who are permanent residents in Northern Ireland. 

There are two different passes available in this system, the first for those aged 60 to 64 years old and the Senior SmartPass for those aged 65 and over. 

Anyone looking to apply for their first SmartPass are advised to not make their application any earlier than six weeks before the day they turn 60. 

Proof of residency is also required when applying for either SmartPass.

The disparity in age requirements across the different nations stems from the connection with the state pension age. 

Because the free bus pass and state pension age are interlinked in England, as the state pension age increases so will the age requirement for free bus passes. 

Current estimations show that the state pension could rise to 67 by 2028, with multiple rises imminent in the far off future. 

However, those that are eligible can apply for the free bus pass through the Government website which will connect them to their local councils websites. 

Source: Read Full Article