Am I eligible for a free bus pass?

You may be eligible if:

  • you are of the state pension age of a female. To find out if you are, use the state pension calculator
  • you are sight impaired or severely sight impaired
  • you are registered as profoundly or severely deaf
  • you are without speech or have limited speech
  • you are without the use of both arms
  • you qualify for the higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance
  • you have been or would be refused a driving licence for medical reasons
  • you have a learning disability
  • you have a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and been awarded at least 8 points against either the PIP 'Moving around' and/or 'Communicating verbally' activities
  • you have a war pensioner's mobility supplement
  • you are an ex-service man or woman who has lost a leg

If you qualify you should apply 4 weeks before you need your pass.

Your sole or principal residence must be within Cambridgeshire. Visitors on a temporary visa and British nationals whose principal home is abroad are not eligible for this scheme.

Applying for or renewing your free bus pass

Renewals can be made up to 6 weeks before your pass expires.

Apply for or renew a free bus pass

It is the passholder's responsibility to ensure that they apply to renew their pass in good time. If your bus pass is due to expire or has already expired then you are able to renew using the link above. You should receive your new pass within 4 weeks.

Please note that if your bus pass expired over 12 months ago you will need to complete a new application. 

Supporting documents and photo for your application

Both first time applicants and those renewing their pass will need to

-          supply an email address, as we will use this to communicate with you concerning your application

-          upload a passport sized photograph. You may use a scanned copy or an existing digital photograph. Alternatively take a photo using a smartphone or tablet

First time applicants may also need

-          to provide your National Insurance number

-          to upload a scanned copy or photograph of your eligibility documents (if applicable to your application)

-          to upload a scanned copy or photograph of your proof of age

-          to upload a scanned copy of your proof of address within Cambridgeshire

Those who are renewing their pass may need to upload electronic proof of address if you have moved recently. If you are renewing you pass and meet the disability criteria then you may need to upload a scanned copy or photograph of your eligibility documents.

Please see the photo guidance for your photograph. This is important as it will be used to print your pass. Your application may be delayed if your photograph is not suitable.

If you are eligible for a free pass and have submitted a suitable photograph and relevant documents, you will receive your pass within 28 days. If you have any problems using the online form please telephone 0345 045 1367.

Getting help with your application

If you have any problems using or accessing the online form, a family member, friend or neighbour can assist you with your application. You can call 0345 045 1367 or you can also receive free help at your local library where computers, printers and scanners are available for use. For those customers who need a member of staff or volunteer to help complete the online process with them, pre-booked appointments may be necessary:

  • Central library - help is generally available on a drop in basis
  • Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots, Ely, March and Wisbech Libraries - offer pre-booked appointments and may also be able to assist you without a booking on a drop in basis.
  • All other libraries are single staffed and will assist where possible, but may need to suggest alternatives such as an appointment with a volunteer

You can make an appointment with your local library by calling 0345 045 5225. 

Replacing a lost, stolen or damaged bus pass

If you have lost your bus pass, had it stolen or it is damaged, you can apply for a replacement online. There is a non-refundable charge of £8.50 for a replacement. If your pass has been stolen please report the theft to the Police first who will issue you with a crime number.  You need this crime number to apply for a replacement. If your pass was or is due to expire within the next 6 weeks you will need to use the 'Apply for or renew a free bus pass' button above.

If you request more than two replacement passes in the same period of the pass, the circumstances may be investigated

Replace a lost, stolen or damaged pass

How to return your bus pass

If you no longer need your bus pass, please include a note stating the reason for return and send to: 

Customer Services Concessionary Bus Pass Administration
PO Box 144
St Ives
Cambridgeshire
PE27 9AU

When and where can I use my bus pass?

You can use your new national bus pass for free, off peak travel on any local bus in England, including London. In Cambridgeshire this means free travel Mondays to Fridays after 9.30am until the last bus and all day on weekends and bank holidays.

This includes the Cambridge Park & Ride, Guided Busway and the X5 services.

Excluded journeys are: long distance coach services, services with bookable seats and rail travel.

In addition Cambridgeshire County Council provides the following  benefits to the statutory scheme:

  • concessionary bus passes may also be used on certain Dial-A-Ride services to give you a 50% reduction of the fare. Some other local benefits may apply. Please ask your district/city council or Dial-A-Ride scheme for further information
  • where the only bus serving a settlement departs prior to 9.30am, an exception may be made. Please check with the bus operator or the county council first
  • if you are eligible because you are severely sight impaired or sight impaired you will be able to use your bus pass to travel free before 9.30am on weekdays

Is your concessionary bus pass valid?

Ticket machines on local bus services throughout Cambridgeshire will indicate if a concessionary travel pass is not valid for travel. This will only affect a small number of passholders.

Why would a pass not be valid?

  • If you have informed  Cambridgeshire County Council that the pass has been lost or stolen
  • If it has previously been used fraudulently
  • If you are no longer entitled to concessionary travel
  • If your pass has expired

What happens if the ticket machine indicates that my pass is no longer valid?

  • The driver will inform you that your pass is not valid and you will be asked to pay the necessary fare. Refusal to pay will result in you being refused travel
  • Cambridgeshire County Council has instructed the driver to collect all invalid passes
  • Contact the council as soon as you are able, to arrange for a new pass to be issued (tel: 0345 045 1367)

Using and looking after your bus pass

The pass remains the property of Cambridgeshire County Council and it is the passholder’s responsibility to ensure that it is only used by the named passholder. If your pass is lost or stolen please report this immediately to us on 0345 045 1367. Deliberate misuse of the pass can result in refusal to issue another pass and/or prosecution.

  • If you get on the bus with a friend or partner who also has a pass, both your passes will need to be presented to the ticket reader  separately.
  • You can keep your pass in your purse of wallet to protect it but you must have it ready before you get on the bus to make boarding quicker.
  • Wait for the green light before taking your pass off the reader. It only takes a few seconds. Don't forget to wait for a ticket to be printed if the machine prints one.
  • Keep your pass flat and avoid getting it wet or damaging the edges.
  • Do not keep more than one pass in your holder, wallet or purse as this may stop the reader from working.
  • Do not get on the bus without putting your pass on the reader and, where required, taking your ticket.
  • Do not let anyone else use or copy your pass. You could lose your free travel privilege if the card is found to be misused.
  • Do not trim, crack, cut or make holes in your pass. This will make it impossible to be read by the machine and you will need to buy a new pass.

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