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Bus passes and coach travel for over 60s

Bus or coach travel is often a cheap option for your journey. There are also many travel concessions on offer on the buses to make getting out and about even more affordable.

Local bus travel in England

Everyone aged 60 or over who is resident in England is entitled to free off-peak local bus travel anywhere in England using a National Bus Pass. Off-peak travel is when you travel any time between 9.30am and 11.00 pm, Monday to Friday, and at any time on weekends and public holidays.

Local authorities may still offer further benefits to local residents, such as free travel during peak times or reduced rail travel, but these will only apply for travel in the local area, and not everywhere in England. Check with your local authority to find out whether it offers these extra services. If it does, there may be a charge for the pass, but your local authority must still offer you the option of a normal concessionary bus pass at no charge.

Services that are not covered

On 1 April 2009 the rules about the services on which you can use your bus pass were clarified. You can use your pass on all local bus services in England but, as a general rule, not on the following types of non-standard service:

  • services where most seats can be reserved (e.g coaches)
  • temporary services running for less than six weeks (e.g. shuttle buses to special events)
  • tourist services or services on vehicles of historical interest (e.g. open-top bus tours)
  • rail replacement services
  • services where ‘extras’ (e.g. refreshments or car parking) are included in the fare

There is a separate half-price coach concession for older and disabled people that many coach operators participate in.

For detailed information on the changes to bus concessions see the Department for Transport website.

How to apply

If you live outside Greater London you should contact your local pass provider. If you live within Greater London you can apply through the Freedom Pass website.

Local bus travel in Wales

In Wales, if you're over 60, you're entitled to a free bus pass from your local authority. You can use it at any time of the day and are entitled to travel on all local bus services in Wales. The pass can also be used on some long-distance services.

How to apply

You can apply to your local authority for the Concessionary Bus Pass. You will usually have to fill in an application form and take along a passport-style photo plus proof of your age and address.

Local bus travel in Scotland

In Scotland everyone 60 or over is entitled to free local bus and scheduled long-distance coach services within Scotland at any time of the day, including the morning rush hour. This scheme is run by Transport Scotland and you need to apply for a National Entitlement Card to travel for free.

Free travel passes in Northern Ireland

Everyone aged 65 or over living in Northern Ireland can travel on buses and trains for free with a Senior SmartPass. Application forms for a Senior SmartPass card are available from Translink bus and rail stations or by calling Translink on 028 90 66 66 30, Monday to Sunday, 7.00 am to 8.00 pm.

Over 60s discounts on coach travel

The National Express coach network in England and Wales, and Citylink in Scotland, can take you to most places in Britain.

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Free bus travel

Eligible older and disabled people are entitled to free off-peak travel on local buses in England

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