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Free travel

Advice for retired people and the disabled, bus and coach travel in the UK, getting around London, travel bargains and accessible travel

The National Concessionary Travel Scheme was introduced in April 2008 and allows for free off-peak travel on local bus services throughout England for older residents and eligible disabled residents (similar schemes are available in other parts of the UK). It does not include free travel on coach excursions, National Express services or long distance express type services, trams or the London Underground (the Freedom Pass is available for travel in London: see below). Off-peak travel is between 9.30 am and 11.00 pm Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and on public holidays.

If you live in England, you'll be entitled to a bus pass giving free off-peak travel on local buses when you reach 'eligible age'. If you were born after 5 April 1950, the age you become eligible is tied to changes in the State Pension age for women. This affects both men and women. If you're a woman born after 5 April 1950, you'll become eligible for an older person's bus pass when you reach pensionable age. If you're a man born after 5 April 1950, you'll become eligible when you reach the pensionable age of a woman born on the same day.

To apply for a pass, contact your local council or consult their website. You can obtain contact details by using the search facility available at mycouncil.direct.gov.uk/index.html.

For more information about the scheme in Wales, visit
wales.gov.uk/topics/transport/public/concessionary/fares

For more information about the scheme in Scotland, visit
www.transportscotland.gov.uk/public-transport/concessionary-travel

For more information about the scheme in Northern Ireland, visit
www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/travel-and-transport/public-transport

You may also find the following websites useful:

www.freedompass.org
If you were born on or before 5 April 1950, and your sole or principal residence is a London borough, you can apply for a Freedom Pass to help you get around London. If you were born on or after 6 April 1950 you need to check when you will become eligible. Visit this website for more information and to apply for a pass.

www.concessionarytravel.com
Concessionary Travel Club helps older and disabled people to save money, have fun and keep active by making it easier for people to get the most from concessionary travel. Visit this website for information about national destinations.