The national bus pass scheme allows all eligible persons to apply for a concessionary travel pass enabling them to travel for free on off-peak local bus services.
There are two categories of bus pass:
- older person
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 will only need to pay a fixed fare of 30p 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 want to travel further afield you'll need to contact the relevant local council to find out if they have any travel time restrictions. Your bus pass doesn't cover travel on private coaches or rail services.
Please note, if you're applying for your first concessionary pass on the grounds of age, we are unable to process these applications online. Please visit the Customer Centre at Middlesbrough House to make this application in person. Please check the opening times before you make your visit (click the heading 'Concessionary fares at Middlesbrough House').
If you're not sure whether you're entitled to an older person's bus pass, you can find out via GOV.UK.
To prove your eligibility you'll be asked to provide three documents:
- One 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.
- One document that shows your date of birth (birth certificate, passport, driving licence)
- One document which gives proof of your National Insurance number
We'll also take a photograph of you when you visit the office, which will appear on your bus pass.
If your older person's bus pass is due to expire, or has expired, you'll need to contact the council to reissue it. Please apply for your new pass up to 2 weeks before your existing pass expires. There is no charge to replace expired passes.
To ensure the information we hold is correct and allow for the opportunity to update your photo, Middlesbrough Council don't automatically renew passes. All older person's renewed passes will be for a 5 year period.
To renew an existing older person's bus pass, please contact:
Middlesbrough House, 50 Corporation Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 2QQ
Tel: 01642 726053
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 (a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning)
- refused or had your driving licence revoked under part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988, section 92 (physical fitness), with the exception of persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol
- with a disability or suffered an injury which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on your ability to walk.
If you're 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 states the higher rate component and the expiry date of the award
- Personal Independence Payment - you must score a minimum of 8 points in either communication or moving around. We'll need the point allocation sheet as evidence. We can't accept the front sheet only stating the enhanced mobility payment, but will require this for length of term.
- War pension
If you're unable to produce evidence, or you aren't in receipt of the above benefits, you'll need to get a form completed by your doctor or a named medical professional for confirmation of your 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.
You'll need to download and then print out the application form so it can be completed. Download the application form.
You'll also need to give proof of your National Insurance number.
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 a doctor's 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'll need to contact the Contact Centre on 01642 726053.
Replacements for damaged or lost passes cost £15 each. Middlesbrough Council reserves the right to determine what constitutes 'damage'.
If your pass has been stolen, you'll need to supply a crime number to the council with your request for a new pass. This will enable the pass to be re-issued without charge.
You can pay for a bus pass using any of the following;
- 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
Smart ticketing has arrived in the Tees Valley, meaning over time more transactions will become cashless. Smart ticketing involves the use of smart cards, which are usually credit card-sized plastic cards containing a microchip. The introduction of smart ticketing will not only speed up boarding on buses, it will enable passengers to have passes which can be topped up rather than replaced. Smart passes also help reduce fraud because they are far more secure.
The Tees Valley authorities are part of NESTI (the North East Smart Ticketing Initiative). For more details visit the NESTI website.
If the pass doesn't work because it has been reported lost or stolen, or it has expired, you'll have to pay the normal adult fare for your journey.
If the problem occurs because your pass is faulty (eg a defective smart chip is preventing it from being read), you can still travel without being charged. However, you'll need to contact the council to get a free replacement as soon as possible. You'll keep the faulty pass until a replacement arrives. When the replacement is delivered, the old faulty pass will need to be posted back to the council or handed in at the council building which issued your new pass. The old pass can then be sent for testing to find out why it stopped working.
If a faulty pass is repeatedly and the council hasn't been contacted for a replacement pass, the faulty card will be blocked to prevent further use.
If your pass doesn't work and the bus driver tells you it needs to be replaced, call the Contact Centre on 01642 726053.
All ticket machines on local bus services in the Tees Valley will indicate if a concessionary travel pass is not valid for travel.
If a pass isn't valid, it may have been cancelled by the local authority who issued it.
Why would a pass be cancelled?
- If you've informed your local authority that the pass has been lost or stolen
- If the pass is being used fraudulently by someone other than the rightful holder
- If you're no longer entitled to concessionary travel
What happens if the ticket machine indicates that my pass has been cancelled?
The driver will inform you that your pass isn't valid and you may be asked to pay the normal adult fare if you intend to travel. If you don't wish to pay your fare you may be refused travel.
Contact Middlesbrough Council using the phone number shown on the back of your pass as soon as possible to arrange for a new pass to be issued.
Address: 50 Corporation Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 2QQ
Phone: 01642 726053
A member of staff is available to process bus pass applications during these times:
Monday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Tuesday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wednesday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thursday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Friday: 8:30am - 4pm
I applied for a pass, and I haven't heard anything?
If you would like an update on the progress of your application please call the Contact Centre on 01642 726053.
Please note, if you've applied on the grounds of disability, your application can take on average 6 weeks to process, depending on the medical professional named to confirm your eligibility.
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 a passport application or statement of illness or disability. The amount the doctor can charge varies from surgery to surgery. Middlesbrough Council has no influence over this charge, and doesn't reimburse customers.
What if I no longer require a bus pass?
To help us keep our information up to date, pass holders should return the pass to the Customer Centre at Middlesbrough House for destruction with a letter to confirm you no longer require the pass.
Are carers entitled to concessionary travel or companion cards?
No. At present carers aren't included in the legal minimum set by the government.
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 fare pass. This could lead to your pass being invalidated.
If you believe your appearance has changed significantly since your previous photo was taken, we will allow for a new one to be taken when you renew your pass.
There are a number of ways that you can inform us of any changes.
Phone: 01642 726053