Concessionary travel

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

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.

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

Please click here to view the concessionary travel privacy notice.

Eligibility

You will be eligible for a concessionary travel 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

In person:
You can apply in person at one of the council’s customer service centres. Customers are able to have their photograph taken for free at these centres as part of the application process.

Please click here for more information about our customer service centres

You can call our customer service team on 0345 600 6400 for more information. Your call is charged at your local rate.

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.

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 take your pass to one of our centres and our staff will request a replacement for you.
Please click here to apply for a replacement pass.

 

Renewing your pass

If your pass was issued by Northumberland County Council, you should visit us in person so we can reissue your pass for you. You must do this four weeks before your pass is due to expire, so we can issue you with a new one in time.

If you have an older person’s pass: If you have a disabled person’s pass:
  • Please take your pass and proof of address, to one of our customer service centres.
  • We will also need you to inform us that you are still disabled. This means that you meet the criteria outlined in the guidance notes for a disabled person’s travel pass. 
If you have moved:
  • Within Northumberland:
  • Into Northumberland:
    • If you still have a pass from where you used to live, you should apply for a new pass straight away.
    • Full details are available by ringing Northumberland County Council on 0345 600 6400.
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.