Bus pass renewals - what's changed?
June 2018 renewals
Around 9000 bus passes are due for renewal at the end of June 2018.
If you've used a standard public bus anywhere in England and your pass has been ‘swiped’ at least once on an electronic ticket machine since June 2017, your pass will be auto-renewed and you do not need to take any action. Your pass will be sent to you around 1-2 weeks prior to the expiry date of your current pass, to the address we currently hold on record for you. If you have't used your pass at all since June 2017, or have never used your pass, you will need to contact our customer services team on 0300 300 8308 to arrange for your pass' renewal. If you are unsure whether you have used it or not, please contact our customer services team on 0300 300 8308 who will be able to ensure your pass is still renewed. This process will apply to all age, disability and companion passes expiring at the end of June 2018.
Expired bus passes
If your bus pass has already expired, and you want to renew it, please contact our customer services team 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.
If you have moved house since receiving your last bus pass and haven't specifically contact us to advise your new address, it's likely we'll need your new details in order to send your pass to you. 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, which we hope will be available in late 2018 or early 2019.
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.
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
At the present time, 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 previous years, a significant number of passes which were auto-renewed 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
You will be able to continue using your pass 24 hours a day for travel within Central Bedfordshire.
In early 2017, Bedford Borough Council introduced a scheme to pay £1 to travel prior to 9:30am so, in this case, if your journey commences within Central Bedfordshire, it 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.