CONCESSIONARY TRAVEL BUS PASS Frequently Asked Questions

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1 CONCESSIONARY TRAVEL BUS PASS Frequently Asked Questions Q. WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A PASS?...3 Q. WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF DISABLED?...3 Q. WHO DECIDES WHO IS ELIGIBLE?...3 Q. HOW DO I APPLY FOR AN ELDERLY PASS?...4 Q. HOW DO I APPLY FOR A DISABLED PASS?...4 Q. WHEN CAN I APPLY?...4 Q. HOW LONG IS MY PASS VALID FOR?...4 Q. HOW DO I RENEW MY PASS WHEN IT EXPIRES?...4 Q. HOW LONG WILL MY BUS PASS TAKE TO BE ISSUED?...4 Q. WHAT HAPPENS IF I MOVE AREA?...4 Q. IF I AM DISABLED CAN I TAKE A COMPANION WITH ME?...5 Q. IS A COMPANION PASS VALID OUTSIDE HERTFORDSHIRE?...5 Q. HOW DO I USE MY PASS?...5 Q. WHAT DOES A PASS LOOK LIKE?...5 Q. WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF USE?...5 Q. WHERE AND WHEN CAN I TRAVEL?...6 Q. ARE THERE SERVICES I CANNOT USE?...7 Q. ARE THERE TIME DIFFERENCES OUTSIDE HERTFORDSHIRE?...7 Q. WHY ARE THERE DIFFERENCES IN A NATIONAL SCHEME?...7 Q. CAN I USE MY PASS ANYWHERE IN THE UK?...7 Q. CAN I USE IT ON TRAINS, TRAMS OR THE TUBE?...7 Q. CAN I USE MY PASS ON DIAL-A-RIDE AND COMMUNITY TRANSPORT SERVICE...7 Q. CAN I USE MY PASS ON NATIONAL EXPRESS COACHES?...7 Q. CAN I USE MY PASS ON GREEN LINE?...8 Q. IF I HAVE NO BUS SERVICE CAN I APPLY FOR ANY ALTERNATIVE TO A PASS?...8 Q. ARE THERE ANY OTHER DISCOUNTS ON TRAINS?...8 Q. WHAT HAPPENS IF MY PASS IS LOST, STOLEN OR DAMAGED?...9 Q. IS THERE A TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR FURTHER PASS QUERIES?...9 Q. HOW DO I FIND OUT INFORMATION ON BUS SERVICES?...9 1

2 Q. WHAT CAN I DO IF BUSES DON T RUN OR ARE UNRELIABLE?...9 Q. WHAT IF THE BUS IS FULL?...9 Q. IF I AM DISABLED AND THE BUS IS NOT ADAPTED TO CARRY ME, WHAT CAN I DO?...10 Q. DOES THE BUS DRIVER HAVE TO GIVE ME A TICKET?...10 Q. IF THE DESTINATION ON THE TICKET IS BEYOND WHERE I GET OFF, IS THE COMPANY GETTING PAID TOO MUCH MONEY?...10 Q. HOW DO BUS COMPANIES GET COMPENSATED FOR FREE TRAVEL?

3 Q. Who is eligible for a pass? From April 2010, the age of eligibility for concessionary bus travel was brought in line with changes to equalise eligibility for state pension. As the pensionable age for women gradually increases from 60 to 65 over the ten-year period from 2010 to 2020, so too will the age of eligibility for the concessionary bus pass for both men and women. These changes will not affect anyone already in possession of a bus pass. Use the website calculator tool to see what age you become eligible for a state pension and associated benefits, including the National Concessionary pass. Follow this link to the DirectGov website calculator. For the purposes of working out the date of eligibility for the bus pass using this tool, you should enter your gender as Female. The date of state pension age calculated will be the date on which you become eligible for the concessionary bus pass regardless of gender. If you are male, this will not necessarily be the same date on which you become entitled to the state pension. Anyone born after 5th April 1955 will not be eligible for a bus pass until they reach 65. Disabled eligibility can be at any age see definition below Q. What is the definition of disabled? You may apply for a disabled bus pass if you meet any of the following types of disability:- Severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted). Profoundly or severely deaf. Without natural speech this does not include those whose speech may be difficult to understand or have language difficulties. A disability, or permanent injury which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on the ability to walk. Limbless/long-term loss of use of both arms. A learning disability from childhood. Applied for a licence to drive a motor vehicle under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988, and had your application refused under section 92 of the Act (physical fitness) due to physical fitness i.e. epilepsy, severe mental health, but excludes drug and alcohol abuse. War veteran disability (as outlined in tarfiffs 1 8 under the 2005 Armed Forces Compensation Scheme). Proof will be required as part of the application process. Q. Who decides who is eligible? Government legislation determines the age at which elderly men and women become eligible for a pass. The County Council decides on disability eligibility, taking into account the legislation and Government guidance on how the law should be interpreted. 3

4 Q. How do I apply for an elderly pass? You will need to obtain full details from the website and check age eligibility on and search for State Pension Age. Hard copy applications can be downloaded from the website. Alternatively you can contact the Concessionary Travel Team on Application forms are available at more than 200 outlet sites across Hertfordshire including libraries, tourist information centres and council offices. Upon receipt of a fully completed application form with relevant and complete supporting documentation, we will process your pass and send it to you within 2 weeks (10 working days.) Q. How do I apply for a disabled pass? You will need to obtain full details from the website and check eligibility. Hard copy applications can be downloaded from the website. Alternatively you can contact the Concessionary Travel Team on Application forms are available at more than 200 outlet sites across Hertfordshire including libraries, tourist information centres and council offices. Upon receipt of a fully completed application form with relevant and complete supporting documentation, we will process your pass and send it to you within 2 weeks (10 working days). Q. When can I apply? You can only apply when you are eligible. Applications for the elderly will be accepted up to 14 calendar days before this date but a pass will only be processed from the date you become eligible. Q. How long is my pass valid for? Up to 5 years from the date of issue. The expiry date will be shown on the pass. Q. How do I renew my pass when it expires? You will be advised of the renewal process as all passes which are dated to expire on 31 March 2013 will be reissued between April 2012 and March 2013 Q. How long will my bus pass take to be issued? You should receive your bus pass within 10 working days of returning your application providing you have given all of the required information. If you are applying on the grounds of a disability the process may take longer depending on your circumstances. Q. What happens if I move area? You should hand in your bus pass (it has a contact address on the back) and reapply in your new area. 4

5 Q. If I am disabled can I take a companion with me? If your disability is considered to require a companion, your pass will be issued with a letter C and this will enable you to take a companion with you on journeys within and starting in Hertfordshire. Q. Is a companion pass valid outside Hertfordshire? Generally no. It is the authority area where you board the bus that decides on the rules and companions are not part of the national scheme introduced by the Government. There are some reciprocal arrangements for journeys to and from Hertfordshire with Luton and Central Bedfordshire Councils. Q. How do I use my pass? As smartcard readers on ticket machines are introduced, passes will need to be presented to the scanner for validation on boarding. If the ticket machine does not have a reader the bus pass must be shown to the driver in order to travel. When travelling outside Hertfordshire please check the bus pass validation requirement i.e. present to smartcard reader or driver visual check. Within Hertfordshire, if there is any question of the driver requiring payment the customer should be advised to contact the operator having taken the service and operator details from the driver. A note should be made for HCC to also follow up with the operator. The customer should also be asked if this is a one off incident or a more apparent problem with their card which may need to be replaced. Q. What does a pass look like? The national bus pass is a standard smartcard design. Hertfordshire bus passes display the Hertfordshire logo to ensure you qualify for the better scheme provided within the County. Bus passes also show an expiry date is up to 5 years after issue. Q. What are the conditions of use? 1. The pass is not transferable. 2. The pass is valid for travel on bus services for journeys permitted within the scheme as notified. These services may be subject to change at any time. 3. The pass must be shown to the driver at the time of travel to obtain the concession, and any authorised official on demand. Failure to do so will result in the appropriate full adult (standard) fare being charged. The right is reserved to seek confirmation of the holder's identity. 5

6 4. The pass remains the property of the issuing authority. The permit should be surrendered should the holder become ineligible or no longer requires it. If lost, stolen or damaged, please report it to the issuing authority immediately. A non-refundable charge will apply for a replacement. 5. Use of the pass is subject to agreement of the terms and conditions of the bus operator. The pass confers no rights upon the holder other than those of a fare paying passenger. Concessionary Bus Pass Terms and Conditions The concessionary bus pass can only be used by the cardholder, as per the concessionary scheme administered by Hertfordshire County Council. The cardholder may be accompanied by a companion in accordance with the conditions of the scheme. Fraudulent use of this pass may result in its withdrawal and may lead to prosecution. Passengers using this pass will be carried as per the conditions of carriage of the bus company on which they are travelling. The Hertfordshire concessionary bus pass is valid for travel within Hertfordshire at anytime (both on and off-peak); however please note that other counties may operate different rules and certain restrictions may apply to some services. Generally, the nationally offered time of operation is defined as between 9.30am pm Monday to Friday, and at any time at weekends and bank holidays. We would advise checking with the relevant authority or bus operator prior to travel. Concessionary bus cardholders must notify Hertfordshire County Council immediately if their circumstances change, or if they cease to qualify for any other reason. Lost/stolen passes must be reported to Hertfordshire County Council immediately. A replacement pass will be issued subject to a 10 payment (this may be waived in the case of a stolen pass). Companion Bus Pass Terms and Conditions A bus pass containing the letter 'C' means that the holder cannot travel alone on a bus at any time. Companions can only travel free of charge when boarding a bus within the Hertfordshire County Council boundary. The companion of a pass holder with an English National Concessionary bus pass will have to pay the full fare should they board a bus outside of the Hertfordshire County Council boundary. It is not permitted to have two bus passes. Should a previous bus pass have been issued it will have been hotlisted in the database and should be returned to Hertfordshire County Council. Q. Where and when can I travel? The pass entitles the holder to travel for free on journeys within Hertfordshire (or towards other areas journeys starting in Hertfordshire) at anytime on any day. The pass also entitles the holder to free bus travel throughout England on off-peak services (09.30am to 11.00pm Monday to Friday and anytime at weekends and Bank holidays). The pass is not valid in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. There may be local extensions of these times but these are advertised in those areas and they are subject to variation. Currently an English national pass can be used at any time in London. 6

7 Q. Are there services I cannot use? The following services are excluded from the Hertfordshire Scheme: National Express and express airport services Most school or college only services Excursions or tours (including long distance shopping or summer special services) Commuter coach services to/from Central London before 0930 Monday to Friday. Any National/Local rail services London Underground Any tram or ferry services Dial-a-Ride Community Transport Some park and ride services Q. Are there time differences outside Hertfordshire? Yes. The pass can be used on off-peak services in England (09.30am to 11.00pm Monday to Friday and anytime at weekends and Bank holidays), except where there are local decisions to extend these hours. Q. Why are there differences in a national scheme? The English pass can always be used on off-peak services (09.30am to 11.00pm Monday to Friday and anytime at weekends and Bank holidays) but there is local discretion to extend these. Hertfordshire County Council exercises this discretion but many areas do not. Q. Can I use my pass anywhere in the UK? No, only in England Q. Can I use it on trains, trams or the tube? No Q. Can I use my pass on Dial-a-Ride and Community Transport Service No Q. Can I use my pass on National Express coaches? No, but National Express offer their own discount scheme for persons over 60. 7

8 50% discount at off-peak times. Up to 30% discount at peak times. When you're over 60, you automatically qualify for concessionary fares on National Express coaches. Concessionary fares apply all year round on coach services to destinations within England and Wales. Coach services to and from Scotland, where your departure point is in England or Wales, are also included. There's no need to apply for a card to get your discount. Simply enter the number of people travelling in the ROUTE SIXTY box when you book your ticket online. Once you've bought your ticket, all you need to do is verify your age to the driver when you travel. Q. Can I use my pass on Green Line? Yes, but there are time restrictions on commuter coach services to central London, you can t travel before 09.30am on Monday to Friday. All Greenline buses are free after 09.30am Monday to Friday and free on weekends and bank holidays. Q. If I have no bus service can I apply for any alternative to a pass? No alternative is available. Q. Are there any other discounts on trains? First Capital Connect Concessionary Fares Scheme Hertfordshire Holders of Hertfordshire bus passes may obtain a 50% discount on rail fares for travel wholly in Bedfordshire and / or Hertfordshire on the routes shown below. This applies after 10:00 Mondays to Fridays and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. Terms and Conditions 1. Discounted travel is valid on First Capital Connect services only, between any pair of stations on the following routes: On the Thameslink route between Bedford and Elstree & Borehamwood (and intermediate stations) On the Great Northern route between: Sandy / Royston and Hadley Wood (and intermediate stations) Sandy / Royston and Crews Hill (and intermediate stations) See the map below. 2. Tickets with this discount may be purchased from any staffed ticket office (or from ticket vending machines by purchasing a CHILD ticket). They are not available on-line. 3. The person using the ticket must carry their valid Concessionary Bus Pass with them throughout the journey and must show it on demand. 4. A discounted ticket to Elstree & Borehamwood / Hadley Wood / Crews Hill may be combined with an undiscounted ticket (including a Travelcard) from those stations. However, the train must stop at Elstree & Borehamwood / Hadley Wood / Crews Hill for such a combination of tickets to be valid. A combination of tickets is not valid on fast trains which do not stop at Elstree & 8

9 Borehamwood / Hadley Wood / Crews Hill accompanied child flat fare tickets are valid with these fares. 6. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any Railcards or with GroupSave. Senior Railcard Anyone aged 60 or over planning to regularly travel outside the boundaries shown above is advised to consider purchasing a Senior Railcard. This allows 1/3rd discount on rail travel throughout the National Rail network. Q. What happens if my pass is lost, stolen or damaged? You will need to complete and resend a Renewal/Lost/Stolen Pass Form (Form 2) and send to the Concessionary Travel Team (address is on the form). In some instances there may be a requirement for a new photo, if the quality of the previously submitted photo is not adequate. You are advised to wait a few days to see if your pass is handed in or returned to the council via the freepost address. A non-refundable administrative charge of 10 will be applied for a replacement pass. For stolen permits, if you are able to provide a valid Police crime number, the fee will be waived. Payment can be made by Debit or Credit card only. Cash, Cheque and Postal orders are not accepted. A replacement should be issued within 10 working days from the date the nonrefundable charge is paid to the Council. Q. Is there a telephone number for further pass queries? You are advised to use the website where full details may be available or telephone Q. How do I find out information on bus services? Information on bus services across the whole country is available from the Intalink Traveline Information Service, which can be telephoned between 7am and 10pm daily on (calls cost 10p per minute from landlines). Within Hertfordshire, the Intalink Partnership provides a range of information. Visit their website at for more details. Q. What can I do if buses don t run or are unreliable? The concessionary scheme does not guarantee that you will get any particular level or quality of service provision. You may wish to take up issues or complaints with the operator if you are dissatisfied. Where a service is funded by Hertfordshire County Council, you can make suggestions or complaints to Hertfordshire County Council Passenger Transport Unit or Q. What if the bus is full? The concessionary scheme does not guarantee that you will be able to board any particular bus and does not give any preferential rights over other passengers. You may 9

10 wish to take up issues or complaints with the operator if you are dissatisfied. Where a service is funded by Hertfordshire County Council, you can make suggestions or complaints to Hertfordshire County Council Passenger Transport Unit or Q. If I am disabled and the bus is not adapted to carry me, what can I do? There is no requirement yet for all buses to be fully accessible. This is introduced in phases between 2015 and 2020 for vehicles with 23 seats or more. The number of designated wheelchair seats is also determined by regulations on vehicle construction and the driver may not be able to carry a wheelchair passenger because the designated seat is in use. If you consider that the driver has not acted reasonably, you may wish to take up issues or complaints with the operator. Where a service is funded by Hertfordshire County Council, you can make suggestions or complaints to Hertfordshire County Council Passenger Transport Unit or Q. Does the bus driver have to give me a ticket? No the issue of a ticket is a bus company procedure and is not required by the County Council. Q. If the destination on the ticket is beyond where I get off, is the company getting paid too much money? No the requirement to say where you are going is a bus company procedure to give them information to plan better services. The destination and fare stated on the ticket does not form part of the system by which the County Council compensates companies for free travel. Q. How do bus companies get compensated for free travel? This is calculated from 3 factors the number of passenger journeys made by free passes (calculated from tickets issued and other systems and surveys); the average fares that adults pay on each service; and weighting factors which make an adjustment for the increase in travel by the elderly and disabled because the scheme is free. The information on any tickets issued by the driver to a free pass holder does not get used in this calculation. 10

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