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Concessionary fares

Information regarding the national concessionary fares scheme and how to apply for a bus pass can be found on this page. You can now apply online for a bus pass or inform us of a change of your details

Concessionary Fares

Middlesbrough Council would like to inform you that due to a planned upgrade to the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme system, we are unable to process any applications between 5pm, 17th August 2015 and 10am, 2nd September 2015.  If your pass is due to expire during this period you can apply for a new one up to 13 days before it expires, to ensure you're not without your pass during this period. The application process will return to normal from 2nd September 2015, and we would like to apologise in advance for any disruption or inconvenience caused during this period.

Concessionary fares

Information regarding the English National Concessionary Fares Scheme can be found below

Apply Online for a Concessionary Travel Pass

You can apply for a Concessionary Travel Pass by completing the online form.

English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS)

The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) scheme allows all eligible persons to apply for a concessionary travel pass enabling them to travel for free on off-peak local bus services.

The travel pass is classified under 2 categories

  • Older person

  • Disabled

Pass holders travelling anywhere within the Tees Valley (Middlesbrough, Stockton, Darlington, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland) can travel free of charge after 9.30am on weekdays and at any time on weekends, on production of the bus pass.

In the Tees Valley, pass holders of the scheme  will only need to pay a fixed fare of 30 pence for any journey starting before 9.30am Mondays to Fridays.  This fare will apply to all scheduled services operating within, from or between the areas covered by Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Councils.  Travel at any other time remains free of charge, and this fare price is only available to pass holders from the above authorities.

Travellers who hold passes issued by other authorities will need to pay full fare if they wish to travel before 9.30am or after 11.00pm Monday to Friday.

If you wish to travel further afield you will need to contact the relevant Local Council to find out if they have any travel time restrictions.  This concessionary travel pass does not cover travel on National Express, other private coach services or any rail services.

Concessionary Travel Scheme pass renewals

In 2008, The Department for Transport introduced the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme. This scheme allowed all eligible persons to apply for a concessionary travel pass enabling them to travel for free on local off-peak bus services.

Over a period of three months, when the scheme was first introduced, Middlesbrough Council issued over 16,000 passes. All of these passes were issued with a five-year expiration date. As a result, March 31, 2013 marks the date when these passes will need to be renewed.

  • All pass holders who qualify on grounds of age (i.e. they were born before September 1951) will be automatically issued with a renewed pass. This will be sent out to their home address, before April 1, 2013.
  • Those pass holders who qualify on disability grounds, who have a permanent disability and are registered with Middlesbrough Council or hold a Blue Badge permit will also have their passes automatically renewed, and sent out to their home address as above.
  • Those pass holders who qualify on disability grounds, but for whom the Authority holds no up-to-date information regarding their disability will need to provide proof that they remain eligible for the scheme. Middlesbrough Council will be writing to these residents in the coming weeks to advise them of the steps they need to take to prove their eligibility.

    Pass holders, unless they were under 18 when they were issued with their original pass, do not need to provide a new photograph. Middlesbrough Council will write to those under 18, and explain the process for updating their photograph.

    For residents whose cards will be automatically renewed, these will be processed before expiry, to ensure that they arrive ahead of the expiration date of the current pass. An updated Question & Answer leaflet about the scheme will be included with all passes.

    Middlesbrough Council has taken steps to ensure customer details, particularly addresses, are up to date. However, if you have recently moved address or changed your contact information, please contact the Council on 01642 726053 to inform us.

    In future, not all passes will be issued with a five-year expiry date. This is to stagger the renewal of passes over coming years, eliminating the need to renew passes en masse again, and enable Council resources to be managed accordingly.

    • All current pass holders aged 85 and above will be given a five-year expiry date based on the last day of the month, in the month of their date of birth.
    • All current pass holders aged 60 and above, will be given a two to five-year expiry date based on month of date of birth. This is to stagger the renewal of passes over coming years, eliminating the need to renew passes en mass again, and enable Council resources to be managed accordingly.
    • All current disabled pass holders will be given a two- to five-year expiry date based on month of date of birth. This is for the reasons above, and where their disability is of a temporary nature, to allow for regular re-assessment of an individuals eligibility for the scheme.
    • All new applications aged 60 and above will be given a five-year expiry date based on the last day of the month, in the month of their date of birth.
    • All new permanent disabled applicants will be given a five-year expiry date based on the last day of the month, in the month of their date of birth.

Bus Pass Information - Older Persons

The age that you qualify to apply for an older person's concessionary bus pass changed on 6 April 2010. The age that people can apply for a bus pass is changing from 60 years to 65 years. This started to apply from 6 April 2010 and will be fully achieved in 2020.

If you were born after 5 April 1950, the age you become eligible is tied to changes in the State Pension age for women.  This affects both men and women.

You can check when you will become eligible by entering female and your date of birth in the link below;

http://pensions-service.direct.gov.uk/en/state-pension-age-calculator/home.asp

Or by downloading the 'State Pension Age Changes Table' on the right.

To register for a bus pass you will need to contact us:

Click here to complete the online form

Email: concessionaryfares@middlesbrough.gov.uk

Address: Middlesbrough House, 50 Corporation Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 2QQ

Tel: 01642 726053

PLEASE CHECK THE OPENING TIMES FOR CONCESSIONARY FARES AT MIDDLESBROUGH HOUSE.

To prove your eligibility you will be asked to provide;

  • A document that shows that you live within the Middlesbrough Borough (utility bill, driving licence). The document you provide must have your current address details on.

  • A document that shows your date of birth (birth certificate, passport, driving licence).

  • The older person's concessionary bus pass is free of charge. We will take a photograph of you when you call into the office with the information that we require - we do not charge for the photograph.

Renewals

If your older person's pass holder is due to expire, or has expired, you will need to contact the Council to reissue your pass.  This was previously renewed automatically.  To ensure the information we hold is correct and allow for the opportunity to update your photo (if required), Middlesbrough Council will not be auto renewing passes.

Please contact the service using the above contact details above or by using the online form to apply for your new pass up to 2 weeks before your existing pass expires.  Please note from 1st September 2015 all older persons renewed passes will be for a 5 year period.  There is no charge to replace expired passes.

Bus Pass Information - Disabled Persons

There are several ways in which a person is eligible for a Concessionary Travel Pass.  If you are;

  • Blind or Partially sighted,

  • Profoundly or severely deaf,

  • Without speech,

  • Without arms or have long term loss of the use of both arms,

  • Diagnosed with a learning disability that is, a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning,

  • Refused or had you driving licence revoked (if applied) under part III of the road traffic act 1988 section 92 (physical fitness) with the exception of persistent misuse of drug or alcohol,

  • With a disability or suffered and injury which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on your ability to walk.

If you are in receipt of the following benefits, the process is automatic upon production of entitlement as listed below;

  • Higher rate mobility allowance of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - we will require the front sheet which state the higher rate component and the expire date of the award,

  • Personal Independence payment - you must score a minimum of 8 points in either communication or moving around - we will need the point allocation sheet as evidence, and we cannot accept the front sheet only stating the enhanced mobility payment but will require this for length of term,

  • War pension.

If you are unable to produce evidence or are not in receipt of the above we will need to write to your doctor or a named medical professional for confirmation of eligibility.

This process can take on average 6 weeks to complete

**please note a charge may be made by your Doctor for completing the form, this is not the responsibility or control of Middlesbrough Council ***

Renewal of Disabled pass

A renewal of a disabled pass is the same process as with new applications.  Please re-apply 6 weeks prior to your pass expiring if Doctors advice is to be sought.  If approved, the pass will be reissued without the need to have a photo retaken.

Lost and damaged cards

If your pass has been damaged, lost or stolen - you will need to contact Middlesbrough House on the number above.  Please note that replacements are available for damaged* or lost passes. The cost is £10 each.

If your pass has been stolen, please could you supply a crime number to the Council along with your request for a new pass - which will enable the pass to be re-issued without charge.

You can pay for a Bus Pass using any of the following;

  • Cash

  • Cheque - made payable to Middlesbrough Borough Council

  • Postal Order - made payable to Middlesbrough Borough Council

  • Credit or Debit Card (for payments of £10 and over only)

  • Replacement passes will be issued to the original expiry date of the damage/stolen/lost pass

NB. Middlesbrough Council reserve the right to determine and apply discretion as to what constitutes damage.

Smart Ticketing Information

Smart ticketing is coming to the Tees Valley. This means that over time more and more transactions will become 'cashless'. It will also mean that trips made using passes like those for the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) will be recorded automatically. Smart ticketing will mean that journeys are recorded automatically, which will improve the accuracy of settlements. There are well over 100,000 ENCTS smart passes already in circulation in the Tees Valley alone.

The introduction of smart ticketing will not only speed up boarding on buses, it will enable passengers to have passes that can be topped up without having to travel to get replacement passes. Smart passes will also help reduce fraud because they are far more secure.

Smart ticketing involves the use of smart cards with special readers designed to speed up transactions, often using the latest 'contactless' technology.

Go North East has already upgraded buses with a smart ticketing system that is now in use on local services, including the X9 and X10. Stagecoach's system is scheduled to go live in June 2011 and Arriva's buses will have a smart ticketing system in place by the end of the year.

The Tees Valley authorities are part of NESTI (North East Smart Ticketing Initiative) which has been set up to oversee the development of technology to support smart cards in the North East region. For more details visit the NESTI website.

In the unlikely event that you encounter problems with your pass on the smart ticketing machines, please contact us at your earliest convenience so that we can issue a replacement.

What is a Smart Card?

A smart card is usually a credit card sized plastic card containing a microchip. The card connects to a reader with direct physical contact or with a remote contactless radio frequency interface. With an embedded microcontroller, smart cards have the unique ability to store large amounts of data, carry out their own on-card functions (e.g., encryption and mutual authentication) and interact intelligently with a smart card reader.

Are there different types of smart card?

Yes. Although plastic cards are the usual form in which smart cards come, they can also be fobs, subscriber identity modules (SIMs) used in GSM mobile phones, and USB-based tokens. There are two general categories of smart cards: contact and contactless. A contact smart card must be inserted into a smart card reader with a direct connection to a conductive contact plate on the surface of the card (typically gold plated). Transmission of commands, data, and card status takes place over these physical contact points. A contactless card requires only close proximity to a reader. Both the reader and the card have antennae, and the two communicate using radio frequencies (RF) over this contactless link. Most contactless cards also derive power for the internal chip from this electromagnetic signal. The range is typically one-half to three inches for non-battery-powered cards, ideal for applications such as building entry and payment that require a very fast card interface.

If my bus pass doesn't work due to a damaged internal chip, will I still be able to travel?

Yes, unless the pass you are using has been reported as lost or stolen or has passed its expiry date. If there is another problem with a ENCTS pass such as a defective smart chip preventing it from being read on the smart card reader, you can still travel without charge. However, you will need to contact the council that issued the pass to obtain a free replacement as soon as possible.

Concessionary Fares at Middlesbrough House - Opening Times

Address:   Middlesbrough House, 50 Corporation Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 2QQ
Tel:             01642 726053
Email:        concessionaryfares@middlesbrough.gov.uk

MONDAY2 - 4 PM
TUESDAY2 - 4 PM
WEDNESDAY2 - 4 PM
THURSDAY2 - 4 PM
FRIDAY2 - 3:30 PM

What if your pass doesn't work on the reader?

If your English National Concessionary Travel (ENCTS) pass doesn't work on the reader you will need to contact the council who issued you with the pass.

If your pass doesn't work because it has been reported lost or stolen to your issuing authority or if it has expired you will have to pay the normal full adult fare to travel.

If the problem has arisen because your ENCTS pass is faulty such as a defective smart chip preventing it from being read on the smart card reader, you can still travel without charged for you straight away. However, you will need to contact the council that issued the pass to obtain a free replacement as soon as possible.

You will keep the faulty pass until the replacement arrives. When your new pass is delivered, the old faulty pass will need to be either posted back to your issuing authority or handed into the council building which issued your pass. The old pass can then be sent for testing to find out why it hasn't worked.

If a faulty pass is repeatedly used over a period of time and the issuing authority has not been contacted for a replacement pass, then the faulty card will be hotlisted to prevent its further use.

If your pass doesn't work and the bus driver tells you it needs to be changed, then each Tees Valley authority can be contacted on the following Hotline number:-

Middlesbrough - (01642) 726053

Hartlepool - (01429) 523331

Redcar & Cleveland - (01642) 444973

Stockton-on-Tees - (01642) 528499

Remember, only the council that issued you with the faulty pass can order a replacement.

Frequently asked questions

What if my pass doesn't work on the reader?

If your English National Concessionary Travel (ENCTS) pass doesn't work on the reader you will need to contact the Council who issued you with the pass.  If your pass doesn't work because it has been reported lost or stolen to your issuing authority or if it has expired, you will have to pay the normal full adult fare to travel.

If the problem has arisen because your ENCTS pass is faulty such as a defective smart chip preventing it from being read on the smart card reader, you can still travel without charged for you straight away. However, you will need to contact the council that issued the pass to obtain a free replacement as soon as possible.

You will keep the faulty pass until the replacement arrives. When your new pass is delivered, the old faulty pass will need to be either posted back to your issuing authority or handed into the council building which issued your pass. The old pass can then be sent for testing to find out why it hasn't worked.

If a faulty pass is repeatedly used over a period of time and the issuing authority has not been contacted for a replacement pass, then the faulty card will be hotlisted to prevent its further use.

If your pass doesn't work and the bus driver tells you it needs to be changed, then each Tees Valley authority can be contacted on the following Hotline number:-

Middlesbrough - (01642) 726053

Hartlepool - (01429) 523331

Redcar & Cleveland - (01642) 444973

Stockton-on-Tees - (01642) 528499

Remember, only the council that issued you with the faulty pass can order a replacement.

I applied for a pass, and I haven't heard anything?

If you have applied on the grounds of disability this can take on average 6 weeks to process, depending on the medical professional named to confirm your eligibility. If you would like a progress update please call Middlesbrough House on 01642 726053

My doctors want to charge me a fee to complete the form - is this allowed, can I claim it back?

Yes, doctors have the right to charge for administrative duties such as signing for a passport or completing an application form. The amount the doctor can charge varies from surgery to surgery. Middlesbrough council has no influence over this charge, and do not reimburse these charges

I am an age-related bus pass holder and I have not received a bus pass renewal letter. What should I do?

Previously we reissued passes in mass auto renewal in 2008 and 2013 of approx. 18,000 passes. On these occasions we were unable to verify the details of all holders, and update any photographs. In the 2013 mass renewal the length of pass was altered to allow smaller group renewal of around 500 per month, over a 3 year period.  This is to ensure pass holders will be able to update both their details and photographs if required.

As the data need to be re-entered we are unable to send out renewal letters and require pass holder to contact the council.  This can be done via the 'bus pass information - older person' tab above

What if I no longer require a bus pass?

To help us update our information, pass holders should return the pass to Middlesbrough House for destruction with a letter to confirm you no longer require a pass

Are carers entitled to concessionary travel or companion cards?

No. At present carers are not included in the legal minimum set by the Government and we have not extended our scheme to include carers.

Update your details

From September 2015 Age-related concessionary travel passes will start to expire. Due to the legal requirement to ensure the data we hold is current and relevant to the pass holders. Auto renewals will not be issued.

If you also believe your appearance has changed significantly since your electronic photo was taken, we will allow for a new photo to be taken.

If you require your pass to be renewed please contact Middlesbrough Council on the details below or complete the renewal request form online.

Middlesbrough Council Highways and Transportation department are asking all concessionary fares pass holders to inform us of any changes to their personal details.

All pass holders should inform us of:

  • Any change of name
  • Any change of address
  • Any change of Telephone number

Disabled pass holders should also inform us of:

  • Any changes to their disability benefit entitlement.

Without up to date information, Middlesbrough Council is unable to verify identity and eligibility for a concessionary fares pass. This could lead to your pass being invalidated.

There are a number of ways that you can inform us of any changes.

By telephone: 01642 726053

By post:
Middlesbrough Council
PO BOX 502
Highways and Transportation
Safe & Active Travel
Vancouver House
Middlesbrough
TS1 9FW

By E-mail: concessionaryfares@middlesbrough.gov.uk

Or using the form below:

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