Concessionary travel

Free bus travel is available throughout England for people of an eligible age and for anyone with a disability.

Find out about applying for, replacing and renewing your bus pass here. Northumberland County Council participates in the government’s English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS). This scheme entitles passholders who are residents in England to free off-peak travel on local bus services throughout the country. Once you have your pass, the scheme is free and easy to use.

Information for bus operators
If you are a bus operator in Northumberland who participates in the ENCTS,
please click here to see the statutory notice.

Privacy notice - how we handle your information
Please click here to view the concessionary travel privacy notice.

Replace or renew your current bus pass
If you already have a bus pass and need to replace or renew it, please click here to find out how to do so.


Eligibility - find out if you can apply for a bus pass

You will be eligible for a concessionary travel pass (bus pass) if:

Application process

If you’d like to apply for a new pass, you can apply:

Via email:
Please email the completed form to concessionarytravel@northumberland.gov.uk 

By post:
Concessionary Travel
Northumberland County Council
Wansbeck Square
Ashington
NE63 9XL

If you have any trouble with the process, please contact us on 
0345 600 6400. For more information on how to contact us click here.
 

Older peron's pass - when to apply


PLEASE NOTE: If you are nearly at the age where you become eligible for an older person’s pass, you can apply in advance. Please do not apply more than a month in advance. We will keep your application on file as we cannot issue a pass until you become eligible.
 

What to expect after you have applied for your bus pass

Take note of the following points:
  • Receipt of your application does not mean we will issue you with a pass. If your application is incomplete or unclear, we will have to contact you. This will result in your application being delayed.
  • We aim to send out passes within 15 working days of receiving a valid application. This allows us time to check your eligibility, and that your application is properly completed. Your application will therefore have all of the necessary supporting evidence, and there will be nothing we need to query.
If you need a new pass, please see below for whether you need to replace your pass, or whether you will need to renew it:

Replacing your pass

If your concessionary bus pass is lost, damaged, or faded so that details cannot be read, you can apply for a replacement. 

PLEASE NOTE: Your replacement pass must be obtained from where you originally applied for it. When replacing passes, we may also re-issue them for a short time period of six months. This is the case when we don’t have a complete up-to-date record of why you qualify for a concessionary pass.

The charge for a replacement pass is £15.

Free replacement:

You will be eligible for a free concessionary travel pass replacement if:
  • Your card has been stolen, and you can provide a crime number.
  • If your pass is not working on smartcard readers, and there is no obvious sign of damage, please contact us on 0345 600 6400 or email concessionarytravel@northumberland.gov.uk for advice.
Please click here to apply for a replacement pass.

 

Renewing your pass

Renewing your bus pass is a very similar process to applying for your initial pass.  
 

When should I renew my bus pass? 

We recommend that you apply for a renewal one month before the expiry date on your current pass. The expiry date can be found in bold letters in the centre of your bus pass. 
 

How do I renew my bus pass? 

There are several ways you can renew your bus pass: 
  • Complete the application form (please see the drop down boxes below for a link to the application form you need)
  • Contact our customer services team on 0345 600 6400 
  • Email concessionarytravel@northumberland.gov.uk  

Please see the relevant drop down boxes below for renewing an older person’s bus pass, a disabled person’s bus pass, or a companion’s bus pass.

  • Fill in an application form: You can complete an application form to renew your older person’s bus passClick here for the application form. Please fill in the form and provide proof of address You can also include a photograph of yourself to be displayed on the pass if you would like to. 
  • Call us: Alternatively, you can call our customer services team on 0345 600 6400 if you would like to renew your pass.  
  • Email us: You can also email concessionarytravel@northumberland.gov.uk to request a renewal of your bus pass. We will require confirmation your details, such as your name, address and the number of your current pass. 
Whether you are travelling within Northumberland, or outside of Northumberland, please see below for our advice on how to best use your travel pass:

Within Northumberland

For bus journeys starting in Northumberland, the council has extended the times when passes are valid as follows:
  • Holders of older people’s passes can travel all day from 9am on Mondays to Fridays (with no evening time restriction) and all day Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.
  • Holders of older people’s bus passes can also travel before 9am on journeys boarding in Northumberland, if they have a hospital appointment letter proving they need to travel earlier.
  • Holders of disabled people’s and companion passes can travel free all day any day.

Outside of Northumberland

The ENCTS entitles pass holders to free travel on any off-peak local bus in England. If in doubt about which bus you can travel on, please contact your local operator.

Off-peak travel:
  • 9:30am - 11pm from Monday to Friday
  • All day Saturday, Sunday, and bank holidays
Metro trains:
  • You cannot use your concessionary pass on the Tyne and Wear Metro system.
  • Residents of Northumberland with a valid concessionary pass can purchase a Metro Gold Card, which allows free off-peak travel on the Metro system.
Travelling to Scotland:
  • Holders of English passes are able to travel on parts of some cross-border routes from Northumberland. This is on the basis that the journey either starts or ends in England.
  • Northumberland County Council has agreed additional benefits for free travel in Scotland on the following bus services, where your journey will start or finish in England:
    • 18, 260 - Berwick to Duns
    • 60 - Berwick to Galashiels (via Duns)
    • 67 - Berwick to Galashiels (via Kelso)
    • 34, 235, 236, 253 - Berwick to Eyemouth
    • 131 - Newcastle to Jedburgh
  • We have also agreed additional benefits on the following local bus services, where free travel is only available for journeys wholly in England:
    • 710 - Newcastle to Coldstream/Kelso
    • 32 - Berwick to Swinton
    • 87 - Berwick to Kelso
Travelling from Scotland:
  • Passes issued in Scotland are not generally available for use on buses in England.
  • The Scottish authority may offer travel in Northumberland on cross-border routes.
  • If you have a pass issued in Scotland, please contact your local authority for more details.