Bus Pass

How do I apply for a travel pass?
You will need to complete an application form and provide proof of entitlement and residency. The passes will be produced by an external manufacturer and will usually be posted direct to your home address, this could take up to three weeks from date of application.

You can pick up an application form from the Customer Service Centre and Borough Hall Receptions or request one by post. Alternatively, if you wish to download a form or complete an online application please do so by clicking on one of the following links:


Downloadable forms

Older Person's Application Form           

Disabled Person's Application Form


Online Application Forms

Older Person's Application Form

Disabled Person's Application Form

REMEMBER - You are only eligible for free travel if you have a valid travel pass.
If you do not have a pass, you will have to pay the full fare (even if you have made an application and are waiting for your pass to be posted to you). Please note no temporary travel pass is available.


Who is eligible for the concession?

You are entitled to a travel pass if you are a permanent resident in the Bedford Borough area and are entitled by age or have an eligible disability (under the Transport Act 2000).


From 6th April 2010 new rules apply for applicants applying for an Older Person's Concessionary Travel Pass. Click here to see when you are eligible.

The onus is always on the applicant to prove their entitlement for a concessionary travel pass.


What documents do I need to provide to prove my entitlement to a pass?
You will need to provide proof that you are a permanent resident of Bedford Borough and that you are eligible by age or have an eligible disability.  Proofs should be recent and show your full name and address, they can be either original documents or photocopies. The types of documents that can be accepted are subject to change from time to time; please see the current application form for details.

The following documents can be accepted as
Proof of age:
- Birth certificate
- Passport
- Driving Licence
- Pension Letter

Proof of address:
- State retirement pension letter
- Utility bill (less than 4 months old) e.g. Gas, electric or telephone
- Council tax or benefit letter
- Driving license

Proof of disability for automatic eligibility:
- Blue Badge (copy of both sides showing serial number and expiry date)
- Proof that applicant is currently in receipt of the HIGHER rate MOBILITY component of Disability Living  Allowance/Personal Independence Payment (PIP) of 8 points or more for "Moving Around" or "Communicating Verbally".
- Proof that applicant is in receipt of War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement (WPMS)/Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Tariff 1-8

If you are not in receipt of any of the above benefits or a blue badge, please speak to a member of staff who can advise you.

Do I need to provide a photo?
Yes, you will also need to provide a passport quality sized colour photograph of yourself (exactly 35mm x 45mm). It should be a full face view (no hat or sunglasses), clear and sharp, not too light or dark with your face in the centre of the image, have been taken within the past year and against a cream background.

Without a suitable photograph your pass cannot be produced. Old, poor quality snap shots are not suitable and cannot be used.


What is the National Bus Concession?

The National Bus Concession (introduced on 1st April 2008) enables users to get off-peak travel on local buses anywhere in England.

What does the pass allow?
The pass entitles you to free off-peak local bus travel anywhere in England (not Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland).

When exactly is off-peak travel?
Off-peak hours are 9.30am until 11pm Monday – Friday, and all day weekends and bank holidays.


Does Bedford Borough Council offer any additional travel benefits?

Bedford Borough Council's concessionary travel pass holders are allowed to travel at anytime within the borough's administrative area.

What is a ‘local’ bus?
There is a legal definition, but in everyday terms we mean the bus services used by the general public running in towns and cities or linking nearby towns with one another or running between towns and the villages around them. Community bus services like the Flittabus, Ivel Sprinter, Road Runner, Villager and Whitbread Wanderbus are included. If in doubt, check with the operator of the service.


Routes operated in the Bedford Borough area:

Bedford Park & Ride

East Beds, Community Bus Limited (Ivel Sprinter)


Grant Palmer



The Villager

Whitbread Wanderer

Will I be able to enjoy free travel everywhere within the UK?
No, the concession will only apply within England (not Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland).

If I visit an area that offers additional services, will I be entitled to them?
Probably not. As a general rule, local authorities will only provide additional services for their own residents. Some authorities, however, may provide them – check with the relevant authority in the area to which you intend to travel.

I don’t live in London, but I visit relatives there occasionally. Will I be able to enjoy the same benefits as a freedom pass holder if I travel there?
No. Because those benefits are paid for by the London authorities, only London Freedom Pass holders will be able to enjoy additional local travel on the tube, trains and trams. You will, however, be able to enjoy the statutory national concession of free off-peak bus travel when visiting the capital.


What does the pass look like?

Image of Older Person's Travel Pass

Image of Disabled Person's Travel Pass


What time-restrictions are there on the buses?
None when you are travelling wholly within the Bedford Borough area - if you are boarding a bus at peak times i.e. before 9.30am Monday to Friday you can use your pass on local bus journeys that start and finish within Bedford Borough Council's administrative area. You will not be allowed to use your travel pass if you board a local bus before 9.30am Monday to Friday to a fare stage beyond Bedford Borough Council's administrative area i.e. you will have to pay the full fare.


Travelling by Train

Govia Thameslink Railway (Thameslink and Great Northern) and London Midland allow you to use your bus pass to otain 50% discounts on rail fares on certain routes (please refer to leaflet below) after 10am Monday to Friday, and all day Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.

To obtain further information about this scheme please read our Travelling by Train leaflet.

What do I do if my circumstances change?
If you move address you must notify Bedford Borough Council in writing, if you do not, you will not receive a new pass when yours has expired. If you move out of the Bedford Borough administrative area you should return your pass to the Council and make an application to your new local authority.

What do I do if I mislay, damage or have my travel pass stolen?
If you have mislayed/damaged your bus pass you will need to pay the required administrative fee before a replacement pass can be reissued. You can do this by calling 01234 718075 to make payment over the phone.

For bus passes that have been stolen you will not need to pay for a replacement. However, you will need to complete a form and provide a crime reference number.

IMPORTANT - please note, we cannot provide an immediate replacement for a lost, damaged or stolen pass and you will have to pay full fare for your journeys until the replacement has been manufactured and posted direct to your home address. 

If you do not receive your replacement pass within 28 days you MUST LET US KNOW. Failure to report the none receipt of the replacement travel pass will result in additional administrative fee.

For further information please click here to access the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme leaflet.


My bus pass is due to expire. What do I have to do to receive my new pass?

Older Person's:

You won't have to do anything. Currently all applicants who hold an Older Person's bus pass which is due for renewal will automatically be reissued with a new one. The new pass is sent out direct from our manufacturer to an applicant's home address.

Note - If you have moved address please ensure you inform the Community Welfare Team (on 01234 718075) before your current pass expires to stop any additional delays receiving your new bus pass.


Disabled Person's:

You will be sent a renewal application form approximately 2 months prior to the expiry date of your current bus pass. In order for you to receive a new pass you will need to complete the renewal form, provide up to date proof of disability (which proves that you still meet the Department for Transport's eligibility criteria) and return it back to us.

Note: Example of proofs accepted are illustrated in the renewal application form.

For more information regarding the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme visit the Department for Transport's website: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/buses/concessionary



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