Bus pass applications - apply for an older person's or disabled person's bus pass

Apply for a disabled person's bus pass

How to apply for a disabled person's bus pass

  1. download and complete the application form for a bus pass (PDF 421.3KB)
  2. send the form to us, along with appropriate documents proving disability as detailed below (please send copies if posting)

Or, visit one of our customer service centres if you'd prefer to apply in person.

We'll:

  • run through your application with you
  • check your documents and copy them
  • forward your application for processing

We won't always be able to confirm immediately if your application has been successful. Please ensure your contact details are correct on your application form, as we may need to contact you about your application. If we're unable to contact you, we may not be able to progress your application.

How to tell if you're entitled to a disabled person's bus pass

There are 7 categories of disability which can entitle you to concessionary bus travel:

  • blind or partially sighted (catgory A)
  • profoundly or severely deaf (category B)
  • being without speech (category C - this doesn't include those whose speech may be difficult to understand or who have language difficulties)
  • walking impairment, due to having a disability, or having suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on your ability to walk (category D)
  • no arms, or long-term loss of the use of both arms (category E)
  • learning disability that is a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind, which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning (category F - this must have started before adulthood)
  • physically unfit to drive - if you applied for the grant of a licence to drive a motor vehicle under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988, would have an application refused pursuant to section 92 of that Act (physical fitness) otherwise than on the ground of persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol (category G)

If you need a carer

We offer a companion pass (category H) for people who need to be accompanied whilst travelling. Applications for a companion pass can't be made unless you qualify under one of the above categories of disability. Applications for a companion pass alone will be rejected.

Automatic eligibility

You are automatically eligible for a bus pass if you can prove (with an award letter or exemption certificate) that you:

  • are in receipt of Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMCDLA)
  • have received a score of 8 points or more under PIP activity 12 (Moving Around)
  • have received a score of 8 points or more under PIP activity 7 (Communicating Verbally)
  • are in receipt of War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement (WPMS)

Blue badges

You are also automatically eligible if you have been issued with a disabled person’s parking badge (Blue Badge.)

Age limits

All disabled adults, children and young people of fare-paying age are eligible to apply for a concessionary pass. A child of fare-paying age is usually defined as those between the ages of 5-16 years. Under this age, a child would normally travel free on most bus services and as such a concessionary pass would not be issued. At pensionable age or above a customer should apply for a standard age-related bus pass unless a companion pass is required.

Proof of eligibility

In any application for a concessionary travel pass, the onus will be on the applicant to prove their entitlement.

In all cases, we do not accept letters from GPs as proof of eligibility for any new disabled bus pass application.

The following are acceptable:

Category A - People who are severely sight impaired, or sight impaired

You will need a certificate of vision impairment signed by a consultant ophthalmologist (eye specialist), a letter from an optometrist confirming the limit of your vision or proof that you are registered with our sensory impairment team.

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Category B - People who are profoundly or severely deaf

You will need a letter or audiological report from a hospital audiologist, aural specialist or audiology department, confirming severe or profound hearing loss, or proof that you are registered with our sensory impairment team.

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Category C - Without speech (this does not include those whose speech may be difficult to understand or who have language difficulties)

You will need proof of Personal Independent Payments (PIP) – a full award letter indicating you have been awarded at least 8 points for ‘communicating verbally’ activity (the award must be for a minimum of 12 months) or a letter from a medical specialist.

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Category D - People who have a disability or have suffered an injury which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to walk

You will need one of the following:

  • an award letter for Disability Living Allowance for Higher Rate Mobility Component (award must be for a minimum of 12 months)
  • a disabled person’s parking badge – also known as a ‘Blue Badge’
  • proof of War Pensioners Mobility Supplement (award must be for a minimum of 12 months)
  • proof of Personal Independent Payments (PIP) – a full award letter indicating you have been awarded at least 8 points for ‘moving around’ activity (the award must be for a minimum of 12 months)
  • a letter from a medical specialist confirming level of walking ability and that the applicant has a long term impairment

We reserve the right to send you to a physiotherapist for independent assessment of your ability to walk.

You must demonstrate that your reduction in walking ability is long term and substantially impaired and not the result of a temporary injury such as a leg in plaster. In all cases, entitlement depends on the applicant's difficulty in walking and other considerations such as difficulty in carrying shopping will not be taken into account.

If you apply under this category, you may be asked for continued proof of eligibility at the end of the initial period of validity of your pass.

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Category E - People who do not have arms or have long-term loss of use of both arms

You will need a letter from an NHS artificial limb unit or a medical specialist which confirms that you do not have arms or are unable to use your arms to carry out day-to-day tasks.

Category F - People who have a learning disability that is a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning – must have started before adulthood

You will need a full award letter of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independent Payments (PIP) or a Blue Badge (award must be for a minimum of 12 months.)

And one of the below:

Proof of registration with social services or letter from your social worker/support worker detailing your disability.

If not on our register, a letter from a medical specialist confirming level of learning disability, difficulty in learning new skills and indicating how your disability affects your ability to travel.

For children/adults who are attending, or have recently attended, a special needs school – current Education, Health & Care (EHC) Plan or a letter from the head teacher at the special needs school confirming attendance and eligibility as defined detailing your disability.

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Category G - People who if they applied for a licence to drive a motor vehicle under part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988, would have their application refused pursuant to section 92 of the Act (physical fitness) otherwise than on the ground of persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol.

This is applicable if you would be refused a driving licence on medical grounds (other than for the persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol) under Section 92 of the Traffic Act 1988. It should be noted that specific reference is made to people who persistently misuse drugs or alcohol. Under government law, those people are not covered by the definition of 'disabled person' and are thus not entitled to any travel concession.

This category could apply to conditions such as:

  • uncontrolled epilepsy
  • severe mental disorder
  • liable to sudden attacks of giddiness or fainting
  • inability to read a registration plate in good light at 20.5 metres (with glasses, if worn)
  • other disabilities which are likely to cause the driving of vehicles by them to be a source of danger to the public

If you apply on this basis, we need the following:

Full award letter of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independent Payments (PIP) or Blue Badge (award must be for a minimum of 12 months)

And one of the below:

  • a letter from the DVLA indicating refusal of a driving licence for a minimum of 12 months
  • a letter from a medical specialist detailing your disability and confirming a driving licence would be refused as defined within the criteria

If you have epilepsy, a letter from a medical specialist detailing your disability, when your last epileptic seizure was and confirming driving licence would be refused as defined within the criteria

Your pass will only be issued for the current period that your driving licence is suspended and we will ask for continued proof of eligibility at the end of this period.

We reserve the right to send you for an independent assessment of your condition.

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Category H (Companion Pass) – People who are so severely impaired that they can only travel on local bus services if accompanied by a companion.

Category H (a ‘Companion Pass’) is a ‘local concession’ ie it is not a compulsory part of the national bus pass scheme and is a concession that is offered by Central Bedfordshire Council for the benefit of its residents. It is only available for journeys commencing within Central Bedfordshire and there is no obligation under the national scheme for other local authority areas to reciprocate this benefit, although some areas do have similar schemes in operation.

Applications for a Companion Pass cannot be made without also qualifying under another one of the categories of disability. An application for a companion pass alone will be automatically rejected.

Applications for this category must be accompanied by a letter from a medical specialist indicating which other category the applicant’s disability falls under and a clear demonstration of the applicant’s additional needs that require the granting of a companion pass showing that you are unable to use public transport without another person to accompany you.

A disabled child between the ages of 5 and 16 would only be eligible for a Companion Pass if evidence from a medical specialist demonstrates that their disability requires it and not if they need to be accompanied due to being too young to travel alone.

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