Older person's bus pass

Older people of pensionable age are entitled to a bus pass giving free off-peak travel on local bus services anywhere in England.


To be eligible for an older person's bus pass, you must:

See the further information section below to check whether you are eligible

Apply for your first bus pass

Before applying online, please ensure you have the following to hand otherwise you will not be able to apply online: 

  • a digital passport style photo that clearly shows your full face to upload to your application
  • a valid email address
  • your supporting evidence of age and address. See further information section below for accepted documents

Apply for your first North Yorkshire bus pass

Applying for your bus pass online is the quickest, and most straight forward way to apply. If you need assistance with your application then you can ask a caregiver, friend or family member to help you. However, you must ensure the portal account is set up using the details of the individual applying and not the person helping create the account.

Renewing your bus pass

Your older person's bus pass will be automatically renewed. You will receive this in the post before your old one runs out. If you have moved to another part of North Yorkshire, please contact us.

If you move away from North Yorkshire then you must return your pass and apply for a new pass from your new local authority.

If you are moving into North Yorkshire and have a bus pass with another local authority, you will need to apply for a new bus pass from us. Your existing bus pass will need to be returned to your previous local authority.

Further information

Check your eligibility

You can check when you will be eligible for a free bus pass using the GOV.UK state pension checker. You are able to apply online two weeks before you become eligible.

Check when you are eligible for a free bus pass

Evidence you will need to provide to get an older persons bus pass

You will need to provide supporting evidence and include this with your application. The following documents are accepted:

  Accepted documents

Accepted documents to prove age and address

  • driving licence
  • full state pension letter
  • NHS medical card
  • any NHS letter containing date of birth
  • prescription
  • firearms certificate
  • winter fuel allowance letter
Acceptable documents for proof of address
  • any letter from national or local government
  • current council tax bill, letter, payment book or benefits
  • current council or housing association rent book
  • tenancy or mortgage agreements
  • TV licence
  • a letter confirming residency provided by your care or nursing home, or a copy of an invoice for care
  • caravan site annual fee invoice and valid postal address
  • British Waterways residential permit
  • marina permit
  • mooring invoice showing mooring fees for more than six months
Acceptable documents for proof of age
  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • social security pension card
  • free TV licence
  • European Health Insurance Card

People who live abroad

Please provide evidence you are a resident within North Yorkshire for more than six months of the year. Accepted evidence is the same as listed for address and age evidence above.

When can you use your pass

Passes can only be used within England and are therefore not valid for travel in other areas of the UK such as Scotland and Wales. Your pass is eligible for travel in North Yorkshire and York on local bus services at any time except between 6am and 9am on weekdays. There are a small number of journeys that are an exception to this where your pass is eligible for travel and these journeys are listed below.

In other areas of England passes generally can only be used from 9.30 am to 11pm weekdays, and anytime on weekends and bank holidays, however it may be worth checking with the area’s authority before you travel. Although your pass will be valid for off peak bus travel in London, it does not allow you to enjoy the additional benefits of a London Freedom Pass as these apply to London residents only.

You can use your pass on the following eligible journeys.

Service Time Details
34 8.53am Middleton Tyas and all onward stops to Scorton
24 7.20am Pateley Bridge and all onward stops to Harrogate
22 8.34am school day
8.13am school holidays
Ripon and all onward stops to York
30 8.30am Reeth and all onward stops to Richmond
30 8.50am Alne and all onward stops to York

8.24am school days
8.34am school holidays

Oswaldkirk and all onward stops to Helmsley
80 7.52am Hutton Rudby and all onward stops to Northallerton
89 8.33am Northallerton and all onward stops to Stokesley
136 8.12am Melmerby and all onward stops to Ripon
194 8.10am Hovingham and all onward stops to Malton
23 7.41am Kirby Hill and all onward stops to Ripon
18 8:45am Stokesley and all onward stops to Guisborough
18 8:54am Great Ayton and all onward stops to Guisborough

Exceptions to using your pass

You can use the pass on all registered local bus services in England except: 

  • you cannot use the pass on long distance coach services
  • passes are not valid on local park and ride services but discounted fares are available
  • passes are not valid on services that operate primarily for the purposes of tourism

Services on which passes are not valid

Service Number Route
108 / 109 Scarborough Sea Front Tour buses
64 / 65 Scarborough Park and Ride Services
P1 / P2 Whitby Summer Seasonal Park and Ride
Grey/Yellow Whitby Summer Tour Services
22 DalesBus: York – Grassington
825 Eastern DalesBus: York- Richmond
829 Eastern DalesBus: Richmond – Bedale
830 Northern DalesBus: Preston – Richmond
831 Northern DalesBus: Middlesbrough – Kirkby Lonsdale
881 Malham DalesBus: Lancaster - Malham
X99 Henry Hulley and Sons: Sheffield – Scarborough

Other service types

Generally community transport demand responsive services operated under Section 19 permit are not eligible services and concessionary pass holders are not entitled to free travel. A discounted fare will often be offered.

A guide to using your bus pass

  • the use of bus passes are subject to the terms and conditions of the North Yorkshire and York scheme as well as the terms and conditions of the operator on whose vehicle the journey is being made
  • all passes must be produced for inspection prior to each journey whether demanded or not, this will be done by the driver scanning the pass on a ticket machine or manually recording the journey
  • bus passes remain the property of our council and are not transferable and hey may only be used by the person whose name and photograph appear on them (any attempt to use a bus pass fraudulently will result in the pass being withdrawn)
  • only one pass is permitted per eligible resident for fraud prevention purposes
  • Passes will not be valid if they are out of date, illegible, damaged or altered - these may not work on the ticketing machines and the operator will have the right to confiscate the pass should it be used in any of these conditions
  • possession of a bus pass gives no priority over other passengers and does not guarantee any person the right to a seat on any such vehicle
  • bus passes are not valid on taxis, rail services, tour buses, express coach, park and ride or coach services, they apply to eligible local bus services only
  • we reserve the right to amend the terms of the travel concession scheme to withdraw, amend or replace any pass
  • if you originally applied for a disabled person concessionary bus pass but either didn’t request the companion enhancement or didn’t qualify, you will automatically be issued an older person bus pass if you are old enough - this means your bus pass will automatically renew every five years without you having to do anything (you will need to let us know if your circumstances change, information on how to do this is under the change of circumstances section

Pass holders must comply with our policies for bus pass usage. Further details regarding these can be found on our website under the relevant sections

For information on what we do with your data, please see our privacy notice.

Lost, stolen, damaged or hotlisted passes

You are obliged to notify us if your pass is lost or stolen to enable us to prevent the pass being used fraudulently. Your old pass will be hotlisted during this process meaning it will no longer be accepted on services, if this happens the operator is in their right to confiscate your bus pass. This is to reduce the number of cancelled cards in circulation as it reduces the chances of passes being used fraudulently.

Lost, stolen or damaged bus pass

If you have lost or damaged your bus pass, there will be a charge of £10 for a replacement.

If your pass has been stolen, and you have an incident number from the police, we can issue your replacement pass free of charge.

Apply for a replacement bus pass

If you cannot apply online, please contact us

Hotlisted bus pass

Once a pass is ‘hotlisted’ it means it has been electronically cancelled and will no longer be accepted on services. If you try to use a hotlisted pass then the operator is in their right to confiscate this from you.

There are three main reasons why a bus pass will have been cancelled:

  1. the pass was reported as lost or stolen and it was replaced - you may have the new pass at home or in another bag or wallet
  2. we wrote to you about your pass and the letter was returned by the Royal Mail - have you changed address recently?
  3. we wrote to you asking for up to date proof of eligibility or asking for you to return the pass - do you need to confirm your eligibility?

Bus passes not reading correctly

Sometimes a pass may fail to work on the bus card reader. In this case, it can still be used if it is in date, not hotlisted and the driver is satisfied that the picture on the pass is the holder. As the pass is not hotlisted, it is unlikely it will be withdrawn, you should still contact ourselves to let us know it didn’t work as you may need to order a replacement pass.

Change of circumstances

If you move away from North Yorkshire then you will no longer be entitled to a concessionary bus pass from us. You must return your pass and apply for a pass from your new local authority. If the pass holder dies, please return the pass to us.

If you move to another part of North Yorkshire, you should contact us.

If you originally applied for a concessionary bus pass but either didn’t request the companion enhancement or didn’t qualify, you will automatically be issued an older persons bus pass if you are old enough. This means your bus pass will automatically renew every five years without you having to do anything.

However, if you now require a companion to travel with you, you should contact us so we can issue you with a companion pass. Details on companion passes and the evidence you will need to provide for this can be found on our disabled person's bus pass page.

Returning a bus pass

There may be circumstances when the bus pass is no longer required. If the pass holder has passed away you can use the tell us once process and hand the pass in at the time of registering the death.

If the pass holder has passed away but the tell us once process is not used, please post the pass with a covering letter including the following information:

  • name of pass holder
  • pass reference number
  • reason pass is no longer required, for example, deceased, moved, surplus to requirements etc.

If you move away from North Yorkshire then you will no longer be entitled to a concessionary bus pass from us. You must return your pass and apply for a pass from your new local authority.

Please post to: Service Delivery Team, North Yorkshire Council, County Hall, Racecourse Lane, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL7 8AD.

Need assistance?

If you need any help applying for your bus pass, please contact us during office hours.

North Yorkshire and York concessionary fares scheme April 2022

1. Application of scheme

  1. We and City of York Council (the “issuing authorities”) have jointly adopted this concessionary fares scheme (“the scheme”). The scheme will be administered by us (the “lead authority”) on behalf of the issuing authorities.
  2. These Particulars of the scheme and arrangements for reimbursement are issued on 28 February 2022 and replace the previous scheme of 4 March 2019 (and subsequently amended due to Covid-19 circumstances). This scheme will come in to effect on 1 April 2022, and continue until 31 March 2024 or earlier as amended.
  3. The conditions contained herein are binding on operators and the issuing authorities.

2. Scheme area

  1. The scheme area is that covered by the administrative areas of us and City of York Council.

3. Times of validity - “relevant time”

  1. Passes issued under this scheme or issued by any other travel concession authority in England, are valid for concessionary travel on journeys starting at any point in the scheme area, at the following times:
    1. at any time on a Sunday or Saturday or any English bank holiday
    2. at any time Monday to Friday except between 6am and 9am
    3. at other such times as may be agreed between the lead authority and the relevant operator
    4. on relevant sections of specific services which operate prior to 9am Monday to Friday. (see also ‘When can you use your bus pass).
  2. Passes held by people resident within the City of York who are registered as blind are valid for concessionary travel on journeys starting and finishing wholly within the City of York boundary at any time.

4. Journeys and services on which concessions are to be provided - “eligible journeys” and “eligible services”

  1. An eligible journey is an unbroken ‘through journey’, in one direction, made on an eligible service beginning at a relevant time. “Through journey” means one made on a single advertised service using one vehicle (or where any change of vehicle is made solely for operational reasons, whether planned or otherwise), or an advertised connecting journey, which a farepaying passenger could make on a single ticket (other than an unlimited-travel period or area network ticket).
  2. An eligible service is as defined in the travel concessions (eligible services) Order 2002, as amended by the travel concessions (eligible services) (Amendment) Order 2009.
  3. The lead authority may include services not considered eligible services under the regulations and may subsequently remove such services from the scheme at a later date. Operators will be notified of any such arrangements by the lead authority.

5. Groups of persons eligible - “eligible persons”

  1. People in the following groups who are resident in the issuing authorities’ administrative area are entitled to the issue of a concessionary travel pass under the scheme;
  • Elderly Persons – as defined in section 146 Transport Act 2000 as amended by SI 2010/459 the travel concessions (eligibility) (England) Order 2010.
  • Disabled Persons – as defined in section 146 Transport Act 2000.
  • Disabled Persons Companion – as specified by the issuing authorities.

6. English national concessionary passes and type of concession

  1. The scheme uses ITSO complaint smartcard passes, as specified by concessionary but travel (permits) (England) Regulations 2008, and displaying the holders name, likeness, the issuing authorities’ logo, expiry date, reference number and any other details pursuant to the administration of the scheme.
  2. The concession type will be indicated by a coloured strip on the right side of the pass; a blue strip for those eligible on the grounds of age and an orange strip for those eligible on the grounds of disability.
  3. Companion element will display a “+C” logo in the top right corner of the pass to a standard design. No separate pass will be issued for a companion.
  4. Passes held by persons resident within the City of York who are registered as blind will display in the top section of the pass a standard “eye” logo, illustrating their enhanced free travel entitlement as specified in section 3b.
  5. On presentation of a valid concessionary travel pass on an eligible journey, at a relevant time the holder will be entitled to a concession consisting of a waiver of the fare for the journey.
  6. Passes that do not conform to the standard designs, or are otherwise invalid, should not be accepted for concessionary travel under any circumstances. Passes that are out of date, or fail to register on a smart enabled ticket machine may be accepted in accordance with guidance issued by the lead authority. See annex 1.

7. Local variations and scheme enhancements

  1. The lead authority may vary enhancements to the scheme at any time as may be agreed between issuing authorities and the relevant operators. Operators will be given at least 28 days’ notice of any such changes, prior to their implementation date.
  2. Either of the issuing authorities may offer travel tokens, taxi vouchers or rail passes as an alternative to the statutory travel concessions under the scheme and may insist where relevant that these are accepted on services included within the scheme.

8. Right of participation

  1. Operators are required to provide the statutory minimum level of concessionary travel, in accordance with the Transport Act 2000 (as amended), and persistent failure to do so is a criminal offence.
  2. Any operator of an eligible service, operating in the scheme area, has a right to participate in the scheme, and to be reimbursed in accordance with the current arrangements for reimbursement. Any new eligible service will automatically be admitted to the scheme; the operator should notify the scheme administrator accordingly.
  3. The lead authority may require an operator to participate in discretionary elements of the scheme, by serving a participation notice under S97 of the Transport Act 1985.
  4. The lead authority shall give no less than 28 days’ notice to operators of any proposed changes to the scheme, including the arrangements for reimbursement, and 3 months’ notice of any decision to terminate the scheme or any part of it. The period of such notice may however be shortened by mutual agreement.
  5. The lead authority reserves the right to exclude from the scheme any service which does not qualify under section 4, or on which the level of fares or the manner in which they are paid, in the opinion of the lead authority, are designed to deter its use for local travel.
  6. Operators have a statutory right of appeal against participation in the scheme, exclusion from the scheme or the terms of reimbursement. Any matter of dispute should be raised in the first instance with the lead authority.

9. Identifying signs, logos, etc

  1. The Issuing Authorities reserve the right to require operators to display on vehicles used on services on which travel concessions are available a sign or logo indicating the fact to intending passengers. They may also require operators to display a notice describing the scheme and its provisions inside each vehicle used on eligible services within the scheme area.

Published arrangements for reimbursement of operators

10. General

  1. The scheme aims to ensure that all operators are treated fairly, and that they are neither better nor worse off financially as a result of their participation in the scheme, in accordance with S150 Transport Act 2000 and the travel concessions schemes regulations 1986. The reimbursement arrangements have been formulated to provide operators with appropriate reimbursement for providing concessions to those who are eligible, as defined in this notice or particulars.
  2. Reimbursement arrangements have been determined in accordance with the principles of Department for Transport (DfT) ‘guidance on reimbursing bus operators (England)’. The guidance and associated reimbursement calculator can be found on the Department for Transport website. The guidance as revised November 2021 sets out the department’s preferred approach for calculating reimbursement based on the latest research and evidence available. The scheme applies the principles of the guidance and the Department for Transport methodology using the reimbursement calculator.
  3. Payments due for revenue forgone and additional costs will be determined using the Department for Transport calculator. The issuing authorities will periodically review reimbursement arrangements in light of guidance and recommendations from Department for Transport. Any amendments to the scheme that result will be issued in line with the statutory notice requirement.
  4. All claims and enquiries by operators should be made to the lead authority, other than operators who provide services mainly within the York area, where they should be addressed to City of York Council.
  5. Reimbursement and payment due will be paid via either the standard method of calculation of reimbursement at 11 below or via the concessionary travel recovery period payment at 12 below. Payment will be made depending upon which method of payment makes the operator better off.

11. Standard method of calculation of reimbursement

  1. Reimbursement due and payment is calculated using a simplified method to obtain a rate per concession (RPC).
  2. The rate per concession will be applied with monthly payments calculated from the number of eligible journeys undertaken by holders of a valid concessionary travel pass multiplied by the rate per concession.
  3. In future years rate per concession will be inflated using the rate from the CPT (Northern England) index or successor body.

12. Concessionary travel recovery period payment

  1. An alternative method of reimbursement is available to operators via the concessionary travel recovery guidance payment. From 6 April 2022, the concessionary travel recovery period will begin which will be available to operators who are left worse off than via the standard method of reimbursement referred to in this scheme at 11 above, and Department for Transport have asked authorities to continue to pay out concessionary fares at 90% of pre-Covid levels. Department for Transport then propose authorities should gradually decrease their reimbursement payments to bus operators by 5% every other month until these payments meet with actual patronage levels.
Month % scale down of local transport authority pre-Covid concessionary payment
6 April 2022 90%
1 May 2022 90%
1 June 2022 85%
1 July 2022 85%
1 August 2022 80%
1 September 2022 80%
1 October 2022 75%
1 November 2022 75%
1 December 2022 70%
1 January 2023 70%
1 February 2023 65%
1 March 2023 65%

At the end of the concessionary travel recovery period operators will be paid the standard method of reimbursement referred to in this scheme at 11 above.

13. Alternative method of reimbursement

  1. Reimbursement arrangements may be varied in exceptional circumstances where an operator provides clear evidence that the standard method of reimbursement is not appropriate. The lead authority will consider an alternative method of reimbursement where it is evidenced that standard reimbursement arrangements do not satisfy the “no better, no worse off” principle. It will be a requirement of any operator claiming such a review to make representations to the lead authority providing full details of the basis on which the review is requested together with supporting available evidence.
  2. The lead authority may agree an alternative method of reimbursement with any operator whose mileage run on eligible services wholly or partly within the scheme area is less than 150,000 miles per annum. The alternative method of reimbursement may be based on the standard method, with an adjusted reimbursement factor, or using another method as deemed appropriate by the lead authority.
  3. Either issuing authority may enter in to separate reimbursement arrangements with individual operators by negotiation. Such arrangements will be binding and all reimbursement due on those operators’ eligible services will be made in accordance to the agreement, not the standard method of reimbursement.
  4. Where an operator is providing a service under the terms of our contract for local bus services, the contract may specify concessionary fares reimbursement arrangements and the amounts payable. Where this is the case, all reimbursement due for concessionary travel on eligible journeys commencing in North Yorkshire and City of York will be reimbursed in accordance with the terms of the contract and not in accordance with the standard method of calculation of reimbursement contained within this scheme.
  5. Where any new operator or new eligible service is admitted to the scheme the standard method of reimbursement will be applied, with the average value for reimbursement factor being used in the reimbursement calculator. The operator may request, or the lead authority may require, a review of a new service to confirm the appropriate reimbursement payable. In these circumstances the operator will provide sufficient data as may be required to enable such assessment to be carried out.

14 Supply of data and confidentiality

  1. Operators are required to supply data to enable the lead authority to calculate the average fare and the number of eligible journeys. The precise specification of the information required is set out in Annex 2 or as agreed between each operator and the lead or issuing authority.
  2. All operators are required to supply this data on a regular basis, normally on spreadsheet format from electronic ticketing machines, on an equivalent acceptable to the lead authority (see Annex 2). The precise specification and frequency of data returns shall be a matter to be determined between each operator and the lead authority.
  3. Operators must record all concessionary journeys undertaken on their eligible services accurately, and in a manner satisfactory to the lead authority. Only journeys recorded on an electronic smartcard ticket machine system, and claims based on audible data therefrom will be regarded as satisfactory. Operators who are unable to provide data from electronic smartcard ticket machines or their equivalent may have their reimbursement due estimated by the lead authority using data from sample surveys on their services or other sources at the discretion of the lead authority.
  4. Operators must provide up-to-date fare tables, ticket options, route and timetable details for each eligible service to the lead authority.
  5. The issuing authorities or any agent or contractor shall hold all revenue and patronage information provided by operators in strictest confidence. This information may only be used for the purposes of scheme administration and public transport planning and monitoring.
  6. The issuing authorities shall consider all revenue and patronage data supplied as exempt from disclosure under a freedom of information act 2000 request on the grounds of commercial sensitivity. Aggregated statistics and information on reimbursement payments to operators may however be published by the issuing authorities subject to all current legislative provisions.

15. Data returns and payments

  1. During each monthly period each operator will receive a payment calculated from their RPC multiplied by the number of concessions for the period.
  2. Payments will be made monthly in advance or monthly in arrears to suit operators’ accounting practice and preference.
  3. Payment in advance will be made using the previous months actual concessionary count multiplied by the RPC, with a 12th and final payment being paid in April and adjusted to reflect the total concessionary count for the year.
  4. Payment in areas will be made using the actual concessionary count for the period multiplied by the RPC, with a 12th and final payment being paid in April and adjusted to reflect the total concessions for the year.
  5. Should any operator fail to submit the required data return and supporting evidence by the specified period date, payment will be delayed until the data has been received and processed.
  6. It is the responsibility of each operator to claim reimbursement and supply the required data, and neither the lead authority nor any issuing authority shall have any liability to collect or correct such information.

16. Survey and audit

  1. Operators are required to allow authorised officers of either issuing authority, or their agent, to travel free of charge on their services for the purpose of carrying out surveys and related duties. Such officers should also be provided with, or afforded facilities to make, a record of the total tickets issued and revenue recorded on each journey they survey.
  2. Operators must retain records of their claims and al supporting data for a minimum period of 18 months following the end of the fiscal year (for instance, 31 March) relating to each data return. The lead authority may inspect any such records as it deems necessary, at any reasonable time, and shall have the right to enter upon an operator’s premises and take copies (written and/ or electronic) of any relevant records.
  3. In the event of failure or inability by an operator to maintain or produce adequate records of claims and supporting data, or failure to co-operate with the lead authority or authorised staff, the lead authority may, as its sole discretion, take any action defined in section 18.5 as if the information had not been supplied in the first instance. The lead authority may also recover any extraordinary costs incurred in investigating and rectifying the situation, including any additional survey work deemed necessary to establish the most accurate possible estimate of reimbursement due.

17. Contracts for notices and correspondence

All notices, data and other information required by the lead authority under the scheme shall be provided to the following contact point:

Integrated Passenger Transport North Yorkshire Council,
County Hall,

Contact us 

Enquiries relating to operators or to passes within the City of York Council area should be addressed to:

Public Transport Service City of York Council,
West Offices,
Station Rise,

Tel: 01904 551550
Email: buses@york.gov.uk

Annex 1- hotlisting instructions background

From Thursday 1 November 2018, a new security check (known as ‘hotlisting’) will be phased in for all bus services across the North Yorkshire and York areas to help reduce the risk of fraud and misuse of concessionary bus passes.

What is hotlisting?

Your ticket machine will automatically detect if a concessionary bus pass has been ‘hotlisted’ by the local transport authority which issued it. This may happen because:

  • The pass has been reported lost or stolen and a replacement issued.
  • The pass has been reported as being used fraudulently by someone other than the rightful holder.
  • The holder is no longer entitled to concessionary travel.

In many cases it is likely that the person may be innocently using a ‘hotlisted’ card with their name on it – for example if they have reported a card lost then found it again after a replacement has been issued.

A passenger with a ‘hotlisted’ concessionary bus pass will be expected to pay the required bus fare, subject to the bus operator’s policy on vulnerable passengers. The bus driver may also retain the ‘hotlisted’ bus pass so it can be returned to the local authority who issued the card as soon as possible.

Will many concessionary bus pass holders be affected?

The vast majority of concessionary bus pass holders will not be affected.

Annex 2 - Data submission template

North Yorkshire and York concessionary fares scheme data return form
Operator Name   Operating Period (month)  
Please return completed forms by email to enct@northyorks.gov.uk.
Service number Full fare paying adult only National free fare bus pass
Single Ticket Return Ticket Day Ticket Weekly Ticket
Numbers £ - p Numbers £ - p Numbers £ - p Numbers £ - p Numbers