From 1 April 2006, people aged 60 or over in England and Wales are entitled to free off-peak bus travel in the local authority or Passenger Transport Executive area where they live. Off-peak travel is when you travel any time after 9.30am Monday to Friday, and all day at week-ends. More recently the age at which you qualify for free off-peak travel has risen from 60 to the age at which women receive their state pension.
Some bus passes cover a wider area, such as a county. Some also allow travel in the morning rush hour, and in some areas, passes can also be used on trams, trains or taxis. It can get complicated, but the key is to approach your local authority and ensure that you get the travel concessions to which you’re entitled.
In Scotland everyone over the women's state pension age is entitled to free, local and long-distance bus travel. From 1 April 2006 older and disabled people can use buses at any time of the day, including the morning rush hour. This scheme is run by Transport Scotland and you will need to apply for an Entitlement Card to travel for free.
In England and Wales, if you’re over the women's state pension age, you automatically qualify for a Senior Coachcard. This means you can travel half price on most National Express services. To find out more, telephone 08705 808 080.
You can also go to www.nationalexpress.com/save/routesixty.cfm
In Scotland, if you’re over the state pension age for women, Scottish Citylink offers Senior Specials, a range of discounted fares for the over 60s that regularly changes. If you have a concessionary travel card, you may be able to travel free on many of their services. To find out more, telephone 08705 505 050.
In April 2008 the local entitlement for free bus travel was extended to allow bus travel in every area of the country. It means that whether using the bus locally, or when visiting other parts of the country, people over the women's state pension age will be able to travel for free.
You can save money by combining bus-travel tickets with admission tickets. There’s a range of travel extras to consider too, like inclusive coach and airport-hotel packages as well as theatre, shows and concert deals as well as tickets to European destinations.