Consessionary Bus Passes: FAQs

Consessionary Bus Passes: Frequently Asked Questions

What’s happening?

  • You’ll be able to apply for your new-style Concessionary Travel Cards, which replaces your current bus pass, from Wednesday 11 September 2019.
  • All current green coloured bus passes will still be accepted and are valid until 31 December 2019.
  • Residents are advised not to panic but to apply for their new-style card in plenty of time before the end of the year to ensure they can continue to receive the benefits of concessionary travel. The old-style cards will not be recognised by electronic readers on buses after 31 December 2019.
  • The new-style cards offer the same free travel rights and benefits as the current cards. The new cards are designed so that they can work as part of an integrated travel network in the future.

How do I apply for my first Welsh Concessionary Travel Card?

  • The quickest and easiest way to apply for a card is via the website. If you’ve access to a computer at home, visit tfw.wales/travelcards and follow the simple instructions. Alternatively, pop into your local library or community hub where you’ll be able to access the internet.
  • If you’re unable to apply on the website, don’t worry, you can ask a friend, family member or someone you trust to fill in the online application on your behalf.
  • If you’ve any queries, please speak to your local council or call 0300 303 4240 to find out where local support is available. Please be aware that you won’t be able to apply by phone.

I have a bus pass (green in colour) issued by my local council.  How do I replace it with a new-style card?

  • You can reapply on the website tfw.wales/travelcards from a smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • If you need help in doing this, you can visit a drop-in centre or ask someone you trust to apply on the website on your behalf. If you’d like to find out where local support if available, please call 0300 303 4240.
  • To reapply, you’ll need the following information to hand:
  • The 19-digit card number printed on the front of your (green) bus pass
  • Your date of birth
  • The postcode your current card is registered to
  • Your National Insurance number, if you’re over 16, which is on pension statements, disability statements or payslips
  • If you’re visiting a drop-in centre or asking someone to apply on your behalf, please make sure you have all of this information available, including your National Insurance number. We can’t process your application without it.
  • From this information, we’ll try to find your information against the central government database. If your details can be matched you can simply request a new-style card, which will be posted to your registered address within 15 working days.
  • If your details can’t be matched, you may be asked to supply additional information to confirm your identity. This will be explained as you go through the application process on the website. If you come across any difficulties, you can call 0300 303 4240.
  • If the photo on the card is no longer a likeness to you, or if any of the details are incorrect, you can update these simply on the website. New photos can be uploaded from digital cameras or smartphone/tablet cameras.

I have a disability. Am I entitled to a Concessionary Travel Card?

I’m disabled and I’m unable to travel alone; how do I apply for my first Disabled Person’s with Companion Travel Card?

  • Please refer to the guide on eligibility and the evidence you’ll need to provide.
  • All companion cards are processed by the local councils. Please contact your local council.
  • If you’ve a green Disabled with Companion Card and simply want to change it for a new-style card, you can do this at tfw.wales/travelcards – please refer to the question “I’ve a green bus pass issued by my local council.  How do I get a new-style card?” above.

Can I pick up a paper application form?

  • Paper application forms can be made available by post on request, but we’d strongly advise against using them unless you really need to as they require more information, a passport photo and will take more time to complete.  It’s much easier if you can find someone to help you apply on the website at tfw.wales/travelcards
  • If you need to request a paper application, please call 0300 303 4240.

How do I supply a digital photo?

  • If this is your first Welsh Concessionary Travel Card, you’ll need a digital photo to apply for a card.
  • Digital cameras and most mobile phones and tablets can take digital photos. If you apply using a smartphone or a tablet, you can use the built-in camera to take a photo, or if you’re using a computer, you’ll need to transfer the photo to the computer first before you can upload the photo to your application.
  • You should ask someone else to take your photo as ones   you take of yourself (“selfies”) can often distort features, and it can be hard to get the right size picture.

 

  • The digital photo must:
  • Clearly show your face so that the drivers can recognise you easily
  • Include your head and shoulders
  • Contain no other objects or people
  • Be taken against a plain light-coloured background
  • You should:
  • Face forward and look straight at the camera
  • Have a plain expression and your mouth closed
  • Have your eyes open and visible
  • Not have hair in front of your eyes
  • Not have a head covering (unless it’s for religious or medical reasons)
  • Not have anything covering your face
  • Not have any shadows on your face or behind you

 

  • Examples of what photos will and won’t be accepted are available on the website tfw.wales/travelcards.
  • If you’ve previously had a bus pass, we’ll try to reuse the photo for your new-style card. You need to make sure it’s still a good likeness, as you could be refused travel if the drivers can’t recognise you from the picture. We’d advise you ask some you trust their opinion and update the photo, if necessary.

I’ve an old-style card, and have put in the details, but the website is still asking me for my address.

  • We check that you’re registered at the address we hold for your old card.  If we can’t verify this, we’ll ask you to re-enter your address.
  • This may be because you’ve moved and not told your local council, your name has changed or there’s an error in the original information you supplied.
  • To progress your application, please re-enter your current address, as it appears on official correspondence, such as bills from your electricity, gas or water companies or letters from your local council. If you enter your postcode first, you should be able to select your address from the registered list. If you can’t find your address on the list, please contact us on 0300 303 4240.
  • Please also check your name matches how it appears on official correspondence.
  • We’ll then try to verify your details again. You may ask you for additional documents so we can check you’re entitled to a card.  Please remember, you’re only entitled to a Welsh Concessionary Travel Card, if your primary residence is in Wales.

I’m 60 in a few weeks’ time, when can I apply?

  • You can apply for a card up to 20 days before your 60th birthday.

Why is the new card from Transport for Wales and not my local council?

  • The Concessionary Travel scheme is still owned by each local council. Transport for Wales is managing the reissue of around 750,000 cards across Wales on behalf of Welsh Government and local councils. Transport for Wales has created a new website to make applications easier and a national help desk with partners PTI Cymru (who manage Traveline Cymru). You can still receive help and support with your application from your local council.

Why can’t you just automatically send me a new card?

  • The scheme has been in place for 10 years, and lots of things have changed since.  People may have moved, or other details may have changed, and new regulations being introduced, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Reapplying makes sure the data we’ll hold about you is 100% up-to-date and accurate, and you also know exactly what we’ll do with your information.

I only received my bus pass earlier this year.  Do I still need to reapply?

  • Unfortunately, yes, unless your local council issued you a Transport for Wales branded new-style card. All current cards (green-coloured cards with council logos) will expire and will not be accepted on buses after 31 December 2019.

Will I be able to sort out my application at my usual Post Office or local council office?

  • Your local library and council offices will be able to support you with your application. If you’d like to find out where support is available in your local area, visit tfw.wales/travelcards or call  0300 303 4240. We’d recommend you check with your local council before you travel to your Post Office.

I’ve lost or damaged my current card: Can I still get a new-style card?

  • Yes, and if it’s your first new-style card, there’s no charge.
  • It’s much easier if you can find the 19-digit card number from your current card, as we can re-use this information to quickly process your new-style card.
  • Please note, if you we can’t link your information, you may have to re-enter details and provide evidence of your eligibility.

How do I use my Concessionary Travel Card?

  • Using your card is simple. When you travel on the bus, all you need to do is:
  • Show your card to the driver
  • Place your card on the ticket reader
  • Find a seat and enjoy your free journey
  • Please remember your card can only be used by you. Allowing someone else to use it may lead to the card being cancelled and/or its renewal being refused.
  • Where a Disabled with Companion Concessionary Travel Card has been issued, the companion will only be allowed to travel for free when accompanying the cardholder for the whole of the bus journey.
  • Further information is available in the full terms and conditions of the scheme.

Where can I use my Concessionary Travel Card?

  • Your Concessionary Travel Card is valid on all eligible local bus services that operate wholly in Wales, or on those commencing/terminating at points adjacent to Wales, provided that the cross-boundary journey doesn’t involve a change of bus in England. You can also use selected rail services operating in Wales.
  • Please be aware you can’t use your card on coach services such as National Express, Megabus or City Sightseeing. However, companies may offer discounts to Concessionary Travel Cardholders.
  • Further information is available in the full terms and conditions of the scheme.

How do I find out about bus times?

  • Traveline Cymru provides times and route information about all bus, coach, rail, ferry and air services in Wales. They offer an internet-based enquiry service which is available at traveline.cymru. You can also call them on 0800 464 00 00.

Can I use my Concessionary Travel Card on a train?

  • You can travel for free on the following Transport for Wales rail services:
  • Wrexham – Hawarden Bridge
  • Machynlleth – Pwllheli (Cambrian Coastline) – October to March only
  • Llandudno – Blaenau Ffestiniog (Conwy Valley line)
  • Shrewsbury and Llanelli/Swansea (Heart of Wales Line) – October to March only.
  • You’ll need to show your Concessionary Travel Card to get a free ticket from the ticket office before you travel. If there’s no ticket office or if it’s closed, you can get one from the conductor on the train.
  • You can also get 1/3 off tickets to travel on the Cardiff and Valley network after 0930 Monday – Friday and any time at weekends and bank holidays.

Why does my new Concessionary Travel Card look different? 

  • Local councils have previously issued council branded Concessionary Travel Cards (The green coloured bus passes). The new-style cards are issued by Transport for Wales.
  • Your card has a fresh new look, but still offers all the same free travel rights and benefits on all eligible local bus services throughout Wales. There’s no difference between the benefits available on the new and old-style cards.
  • If any of your friends and family are wondering why they haven’t received their new-style card yet, please tell them not to worry. Old-style cards (Bus Passes) will continue to be accepted until 31 December 2019.

I haven’t received my new Concessionary Travel Card in the post; what do I do?

  • You should allow 15 working days for your card to arrive by post, so please allow time for your card to arrive.
  • If you haven’t received it after this time, please call 0300 303 4240.
  • You can see how your application is progressing by visiting tfw.wales.travelcards. You’ll need your password if you set one up when you applied or your national insurance number, date of birth and postcode.

The details on my Concessionary Travel Card are incorrect or have changed; what should I do?

  • It’s important to keep your personal information up-to-date, so if you change your address or any other details, please let us know by using tfw.wales/travelcards or call 0300 303 4240.

I have a new-style card. How long is it valid for?

  • The expiry date is shown on the front of your card. We’ll contact you nearer the time to remind you to apply for a replacement.
  • If you’ve a Disabled or Disabled plus Companion Concessionary Travel Card, you may be asked to provide new evidence before the card expiry date. We’ll contact you at that time.

How do I get a replacement Concessionary Travel Card?

  • If you lose or damage your card, or if it’s stolen, the easiest way to get a replacement card is by visiting tfw.wales/travelcards. Please note, there’s a charge for replacement cards. If you have any queries, please call us on 0300 303 4240

I’d lost my new-style card and requested a replacement, but I’ve now found it. Can I stop the replacement being issued?

  • Unfortunately, no. As soon as payment is taken, a new card is automatically ordered, and the old card will be deactivated to prevent fraudulent use. There are no refunds. Please destroy your old card as it will no longer be valid.

I have an old-style pass and didn’t notify the council that I moved or that my name changed. Can I still get a new-style pass?

  • If you’re still eligible and live in Wales, yes. Please note that if you’re applying on the website tfw.wales/travelcards please enter your old address so that we can find your details. You’ll then be prompted to update your address.

A relative has died and had a Concessionary Travel Card. How do I cancel it?

  • Please notify us by calling 0300 303 4240 and we’ll ensure the card is cancelled. Once you’ve informed us, please cut up the card.

When will my old-style card stop working?

  • Your old-style card will stop working on 31 December 2019, so it’s important you apply for a new-style card in plenty of time to continue to enjoy the benefits of free travel.

Are my personal details safe?

  • Your information is held securely and used by your local council, Welsh Government and Transport for Wales to administer the scheme and prevent fraud. We’ll only use your information for marketing purposes if you’ve given us permission.
  • Your card displays your name and the expiry date and doesn’t contain any other personal details. TfW processes your information in accordance with the Transport for Wales privacy statement.

Am I still eligible for a new-style card after the announcement that there’s a review of the concessionary travel eligibility criteria?

  • Welsh Government’s proposal to align the Concessionary Travel eligibility age in the future with that of state pension age aims to ensure that the scheme remains sustainable in the longer term and is targeted at those most in need. The eligibility proposal will not affect current cardholders – you’ll not lose entitlement to your card and its benefits in the future, nor will you be affected when you come to reapplying for a Concessionary Travel Card after 31 December 2019.