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You are here:home > Living > Smartcities > Bus Pass for Disabled Persons

Bus Pass for Disabled Persons

How do I qualify for an English National Concessionary Bus Pass if I am under pensionable age?

You will need to be over 5 years of age, have a long term disability (in excess of 12 months) and meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • be blind or partially sighted
  • be profoundly or severely deaf
  • be without speech
  • have a disability, or injury, which has a substantial and long-term effect on your ability to walk
  • have no arms or have long-term loss of the use of both arms
  • have a learning disability, that is, a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which started before adulthood and includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning
  • would be refused a licence to drive a motor vehicle, should an application be made under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988, under section 92 of the Act (physical fitness) otherwise than on the grounds of persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol

Documents which can be provided as evidence of the above:

  • a registration card stating that you are either severely sight impaired (blind), sight impaired (partially sighted) or deaf
  • a Certificate of Vision Impairment
  • a letter from a Medical Practitioner or Social Services confirming that you are without speech
  • a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions confirming that you are currently in receipt of the Higher rate of the Mobility component of Disability Living Allowance
  • a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions which confirms that you have been awarded Personal Independence Payment at 8 points or above against either the PIP “Moving Around” and/or “Communicating verbally” activities
  • a letter from Southampton City Council's Day Services or Learning Disabilities Team confirming that you have a Learning Disability
  • a recent letter from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) confirming that you are medically unfit to drive
  • a letter from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency confirming that you are in receipt of War Pensioner's Mobility supplement
  • a newly completed MQ14 form, signed and stamped by a medical practitioner confirming that you are eligible (MQ14 forms can be printed from this website or are available from Gateway).

The Government Guidance on eligible disabilities gives full details of the above categories.

Further Information

1. Where can I apply for an English National Concessionary Bus Pass?

You can apply by completing an application form and returning it in person to any Southampton library, local housing office or Gateway at One Guildhall Square. Application forms are available from these venues or can be printed from this webpage to complete. You can also request an application form to be posted to you.

Please note that we can only issue Concessionary bus passes to residents who live within our council tax area and cannot accept postal applications.

Council offices opening times 

2. What documents do I need to take when applying?

Along with your application form you must provide:

  • Proof of your address on a document in your current name, not more than three months old from one of the following:
    Utility bill (gas, electric, water etc dated within the last 3 months)
    Bank statement (dated within the last 3 months)
    Council Tax bill (current)
    Official correspondence (dated within the last 3 months)

  • Proof of your personal identification on a document containing your date of birth from the list below:
    Driving licence
    Passport
    Birth Certificate (if it is still in your current name). Please note that birth certificates are not official proof of identity but we do accept them for this purpose.

  • A colour passport photograph taken on a light background will be required. Black and white photographs cannot be accepted. Gateway is able to take your photograph for use on your Smartcities card (this is not a guaranteed service)

If you are registered as severely sight impaired/blind please provide a copy of your registration card.

Eligible disabled persons need to provide evidence of their qualification if under the automatic age of qualification. Qualification documents will be copied (with the exception of MQ14 forms as the original is required) and attached to your application form when you apply. Copies of documents and MQ14 forms are not returned.

3. I am registered as severely sight impaired/blind

Southampton residents who are registered as severely sight impaired/blind can apply for a bus pass featuring a green triangle which will allow them to travel free at any time when the cardholder boards a bus within the Southampton City Council boundary. Please see questions 1 and 2 above for where to apply and the documents required.

4. Where can I use my English National Concessionary bus pass?

You can travel across England, including the Isle of Wight. You cannot travel free in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

5. Which buses will my bus pass be accepted on?

The English National Concessionary bus pass will enable eligible users to have free off-peak travel on all local registered bus services anywhere in England.

In Southampton the main local buses include First Bus, Bluestar, Wilts & Dorset, Velvet and Uni-link. Other areas have different local bus companies.

6. When will I be able to travel using my bus pass?

All Southampton Senior Citizen and Disabled Person's English National Concessionary bus passes can be used to travel free anywhere in England when boarding a bus between 09:30 and 23:00 Monday to Friday, all day Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays. Southampton issued passes can also be used to travel when boarding a bus within the Southampton City Council boundary between 09:00 and 09:30 and between 23:00 and 00:30 Monday to Friday.

Blind persons issued with a Southampton Disabled Person's Concessionary pass featuring a green triangle can also travel free at any time where the cardholder boards the bus within the Southampton City Council boundary and if the local authority allows, in other areas in England.

7. Is it only applicable to buses?

The English National Concessionary bus pass applies to local bus travel only.

8. If I visit an area that offers additional services, will I be entitled to them?

Probably not. As a general rule, local authorities will only provide additional services for their own residents. Please check with the relevant authority in the area which you intend to travel.

9. What is a companion pass?

A companion pass is a bus pass which contains the letter ‘C’ which means that the holder is unable to travel alone on a bus at any time for medical reasons. One carer will be able to travel with the holder free of charge when travelling within the Southampton City Council area (companion passes are not part of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme).

10. How do I qualify for companion pass?

To show evidence of qualification for a companion pass we require 2 documents. The first being one of the following:

  • a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions confirming that you are in receipt of the higher rate of the care or mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or attendance allowance.

  • a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions which confirms that you have been awarded Personal Independence Payment at 8 points or above against either the PIP “Moving Around” and/or “Communicating verbally” activities

  • a letter from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency confirming being in receipt of War pensioner's mobility supplement

  • a Sensory Services registration card confirming that you are blind, partially sighted or deaf or evidence that you are without speech

And

  • a letter from a medically qualified practitioner confirming that you are unable to travel alone on a bus for medical reasons.

11. How do I update my address?

By email or letter (please see below for details) giving your name, Smartcities account number, old address and new address or by visiting a Southampton Library or Gateway at One Guildhall Square with an official letter which contains your name and new address (if your new address is outside of the Southampton City Council area you will need to apply for your bus pass to the local authority receiving the council tax for your property).

If you have provided the Smartcities office with your current email address and your new address is within the Southampton City Council area you can also update your address by using this link to the self service portal. Please note:

  • Your ten digit account number is on the back of your card

  • Please log in with your email address by clicking on the email link before entering it

  • You will not be able to access an Itchen Bridge account from this page if you have not requested that your card be set up for use on the Itchen Bridge.

12. How do I add other services to my existing bus pass card?

The Itchen Bridge service - please see the Itchen Toll Bridge link on the left side of this page.

The Get Active Subscription - please see the Get Active link on the left side of this page for the evidence of qualification required. This evidence can be emailed to Smartcities@southampton.gov.uk or taken to a Southampton Library or Gateway at One Guildhall Square. The subscription will then be added remotely to your existing card.

Organ Donation - if you would like to be added to the NHS Organ Donor Register and would like the Donor Symbol on the back of your card please complete sections 1, 2 (including account number), 7 and 9 of the Smartcities Application form and take it to a Southampton Library or to Gateway at One Guildhall Square.

13. How does my Smartcities bus pass card work?

Your concessionary bus pass/Smartcities card has an embedded memory chip and stores data electronically. The diagram below shows a cross section of a smart card. The memory chip stores data and the antenna allows the chip to talk to a reader without touching it.

Smartcard Diagram

To keep your card in good working condition it needs to be kept dry, in a flat position in a separate wallet. If your card has been bent the antenna may become detached from the microchip. This would mean that it would not work on the readers on the buses, Itchen Bridge or on other scanning devices. Deep scratches, friction or excessive pressure can also cause damage to the chip or antenna.

Your Smartcities card, if used and kept correctly should have a lifetime of at least 5 years. Please note that there is an administration fee for the replacement of cards which have been damaged or lost.

Downloadable documents

Icon Name of file Size Download time
PDF document Smartcities application form 679 KB 2secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Disabled Person's Bus Pass renewal form 80 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document MQ14 104 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
Link to download Adobe Acrobat if required

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