Bus pass renewals - what's changed?
A large number (approximately 10,000) concessionary bus passes were renewed in June 2017.
Following this, there are no more bus pass renewals due until June 2018. At present the final process for these renewals has not been agreed. We will update customers once this is available.
During the Passenger Transport Strategy consultation in summer 2016, it was proposed that we would move away from auto-renewing of passes. When the strategy was adopted in November 2016 this proposal was also adopted. However it is going to take some time for us to define and put these processes in place in order to ensure that users are able to easily renew their bus passes.
Expired bus passes
If your bus pass has already expired, and you want to renew it, please contact Customer Services on 0300 300 8308 or email email@example.com and we can arrange for a new bus pass to be sent immediately.
Lost bus passes
If your bus pass is still valid and has been lost you will still have to pay for its replacement.
Stolen bus passes
Stolen bus passes will be replaced free of charge if a Police Crime Number is supplied.
We are always keen to ensure our databases are up to date so we can get in touch with you. If you have recently changed your address, telephone number or email address please let us know by contacting Customer Services on 0300 300 8308 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online applications and renewals - when will this be happening?
We are currently working with our suppliers to implement an online pass application and renewal portal.
We hope this will enable you to fully apply online for age related applications and if successful it will be extended to disabled applications also. We hope that the initial online application offering will be online by early 2018.
For the time being paper forms and telephone assistance will continue to be available.
We would envisage that paper forms and telephone assistance will continue to be offered alongside an online portal for the foreseeable future.
Getting a pass if you aren't online
Following the Passenger Transport Strategy consultation, there were many comments regarding the proposal to move all pass applications and renewals online. These comments indicated that respondents did not support our proposals to move things fully online at the present time. As such we will be continuing with existing methods of pass application and renewal for the foreseeable future.
Auto-renewals - why has the process changed?
Currently the government is reducing the amount of money it spends in many areas – this is known as austerity and has resulted in the reduction in funding provided to local authorities.
Decisions have to be made by local authorities as to where the funding should be allocated. Bus service funding is only a discretionary (optional) service and local authorities are not obliged to fund buses which has resulted in less money is being allocated to them.
However administering a concessionary pass scheme is a compulsory service so we must provide it although we must look for ways of increasing efficiency overall.
Auto-renewals in the event of someone passing away
In the last round of pass auto-renewals in 2015 a significant number of passes were returned to us due to the holders having passed away or moved out of Central Bedfordshire and we had not been informed.
Unfortunately in some cases this was distressing for people to receive a new pass for a deceased relative.
We have since improved the cleansing and management of our pass database and now regularly update it and annul records of those customers who have passed away.
Unless your relative has passed away within the last 4 weeks it is likely we will already have received their details from the Registrar of Deaths and their pass record will have been annulled.
You are welcome to confirm this with Customer Services in order to ensure the record is annulled.
Renewing an unused / expired pass
You can renew a pass through Customer Services.
You will need to confirm that your personal details and address are correct though, just to ensure that our database is up to date. You do not need to have to make a new application to do this as we will already have your details on record.
Using bus passes before 9:30am
We originally proposed to stop concessionary travel prior to 9:30am but due to the amount of comments regarding this during the strategy consultation this was removed and you will be able to continue using your pass 24 hours a day for travel within Central Bedfordshire.
Bedford Borough Council have recently introduced a scheme to pay £1 to travel prior to 9:30am so whilst your journey commencing within Central Bedfordshire will still be free if you need to make an onward journey within Bedford Borough prior to 9:30am you will have to pay for this.
Bus pass validity
Concessionary passes are valid on all buses operating within Central Bedfordshire regardless of operator. The ENCTS concessionary pass scheme is a mandatory scheme by central government and local authorities have to administer it and follow its rules.
The scheme states that all local authorities must offer free travel for pass holders from 9:30am to 11pm weekdays and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Some pass holders have asked if they could pay a small fee each time they use their pass, to support the bus pass scheme. Unfortunately, we are unable to change these government rules. This means neither us, nor the bus operators, can accept any payments as part of the concessionary scheme. However, pass holders are free to pay the full adult fare for their journey rather than use their concessionary pass should they wish to support the bus service further.
Difficulties with renewing passes
If you are disabled are having difficulties renewing your pass, then we can help.
Our customer services will be able to support you if you need help to apply or renew your pass - contact Customer Services on 0300 300 8308 or email email@example.com.