Home chevron_right Parking, roads, and transport chevron_right Getting around town chevron_right Bus pass

Bus pass (concessionary fares)

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
  • 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 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 11pm, 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.

The five Tees Valley councils have agreed their plan for delivering the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme in 2023-2024.

Apply for an older person's bus pass

Apply for an older person's bus pass

add

Eligibility

First, you'll need to look up when you'll be eligible for free bus travel. This date is not the same for everyone. You can then apply for your older person's bus pass, up to 28 days before the date you become eligible.

To prove you're eligible, you'll need to provide documents to prove your address and date of birth.

You must use two different documents. You cannot use the same document to prove both your address and date of birth.

Address

You'll need a document which shows you live in Middlesbrough. It must have your current address on. Examples include: utility bill or driving licence.

Date of birth

You'll need a document which shows your date of birth. Examples include: birth certificate, passport, driving licence, or prescription.

Apply

Renewals

If your older person's bus pass is due to expire, or has expired, you'll need to contact us to reissue it. You can apply for a renewal up to 28 days before the expiry date of your bus pass. 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, we 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:

Email: concessionaryfares@middlesbrough.gov.uk

Phone: 01642 726053

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 £16.50 each. We reserve 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:

  • 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 damaged/stolen/lost pass.

Apply for a disabled person's bus pass

add

Eligibility

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 to see the point allocation sheet as evidence which includes the length of term. Our system only allows one page to be uploaded for PIP evidence, so if you need to upload more than one page for PIP evidence, please email the other pages to us at concessionaryfares@middlesbrough.gov.uk, stating your name and date of birth.
  • War pension

If you're unable to produce evidence or you are not getting the above benefits, you will need to apply for a bus pass and be assessed to prove your eligibility. This process can take on average 6 weeks to complete and may involve a face to face assessment with an Expert Assessor.

If you would like to be assessed for a disabled person's bus pass you can download a disabled bus pass application form. This can be delivered to the address on the form or sent via email to concessionaryfares@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

Apply

You can apply for your bus pass online.

You'll need to provide documents to prove you're eligible.

You must use two different documents to prove both your address and date of birth. You cannot use the same document.

Address

You'll need a document which shows you live in Middlesbrough. It must have your current address on. Examples include: utility bill or driving licence.

Date of birth

You'll need a document which shows your date of birth. Examples include: birth certificate, passport, driving licence, or prescription.

Benefit award letter

You'll need a document which shows your award, for example: higher rate mobility allowance of Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, or War Pension.

If you cannot provide evidence or you're not getting the above benefits, you'll need to apply for a bus pass and be assessed to prove your eligibility. This process can take on average 6 weeks to complete and may involve a face to face assessment with an Expert Assessor.

If you would like to be assessed for a Disabled Person's Bus Pass you can download a Disabled Bus Pass Application form. This can be delivered to the address on the form or sent via email to concessionaryfares@middlesbrough.gov.uk

Renewals

You can renew a permanent disabled pass or permanent disabled companion pass by phone. Please call the Contact Centre on 01642 726053.

A renewal of a non-permanent disabled pass or non-permanent disabled companion pass is the same process as with new applications. Please re-apply 28 days prior to your pass expiring by completing the disability bus pass application, download a Disabled Bus Pass Application form. If approved, the pass will be reissued without the need to have a photo retaken or proof of address and ID produced.

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 £16.50 each. We reserve 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:

  • 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 damaged, stolen, or lost pass.

Smart ticketing

add

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.

Faulty passes

add

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.

Invalid and cancelled passes

add

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 us using the phone number shown on the back of your pass as soon as possible to arrange for a new pass to be issued.

Frequently asked questions

add

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 us 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?

Doctors do 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. We cannot control this, and we do not reimburse customers who are charged.

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 us, 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. However, if a person is eligible for a Disabled Person's Bus Pass and is unable to travel on public transport without the aid of another person for the duration of the journey, they may apply for bus pass with a Companion Entitlement. This will enable the Companion to travel for free with the bus pass holder in Middlesbrough and other authorities within the Tees Valley and North East.

Update your details

add

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, we are 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 let us know about any changes.

Phone: 01642 726053

Emailconcessionaryfares@middlesbrough.gov.uk