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Older or disabled persons bus pass

Latest News - 12 November 2020: Public Transport Coronavirus Update

Essex Concessionary Bus Pass - Return to normal hours of use from Tuesday, 01 September 2020

In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Essex County Council (ECC) extended the hours of operation for Essex bus passes to all day from the usual off-peak times to help people make use of early hours opening for high risk groups.

Businesses and shops are starting to return to normal and with schools preparing for a September return, social distancing requirements on bus services mean that during the peak morning travel period there will be additional pressure on bus capacity. ECC has therefore agreed with bus operators concessionary bus passes times in Essex will return to normal hours - 9am to midnight on weekdays and all times on weekends and public holidays from Tuesday, 01 September 2020.  Please see Concessionary Bus Pass hours – return to normal information poster for details.

  • Please note that the availability of bus services is likely to continue to change over the coming weeks, you are strongly advised to check on your bus operator’s website, social media and phone apps to see what bus services will be running before starting your journey
  • When using bus services, please follow the guidance from Public Health England, including the need to wear a face covering, reduce personal contact, social distancing and maintaining personal hygiene, particularly sneezing or coughing into disposable tissues, avoiding touching your face and regular thorough hand cleaning.

Timetables updates

Due to frequent changes, to ensure resources are directed where they are most needed, it has not been viable to maintain printed timetables during this time. Please refer to the bus operator’s website or app for up-to-date timetable & service information. For Operators website or Twitter details please see the operators spreadsheet in order to access the latest updates from the Bus Operators themselves.

National journey planning enquiries are available at:

Older and disabled persons bus pass

If you live in England and are of retirement age or an eligible disabled person, you are entitled to an English National Concessionary Bus Pass. Essex residents who are applying for an older persons or disabled persons bus pass for the first time may apply to Essex County Council.

You can find the following on this web page: 


How to apply

You can apply by either:

  • Downloading an application form for older persons or disabled persons bus pass at the bottom of this page.
  • Apply online – this will take you to our online application system.
  • Collecting an application form from your local library.
  • Call us on 0345 200 0388 for an application form or for assistance completing one.


Your bus pass is valid in the following locations at the following times:

Location Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) Weekends and public holiday
Essex, Southend and Thurrock Authorities:  Companion Passes are valid in these areas 09:00 to 24:00 Anytime
Any other local authority in England:(Not all authorities offer earlier discretionary start times – you should check before travel). 

A companion pass will only act as a standard pass outside of Essex.  Your companion will be required to pay for their travel.
09:30 to 23:00 Anytime
Transport For London Buses (you cannot use your pass on the Underground, DLR or Trams) Anytime Anytime

An Essex companion pass is available for those who have difficulty travelling without assistance. For more information please call 0345 200 0388 or email:


Eligibility for an older persons pass

Older people (male or female) become eligible at the female age of retirement. If you were born before 6 April 1950 you are eligible for a concessionary pass.  If you were born between 7 April 1950 and the 5 April 1955 please use the eligibility calculator at to find out when you will become eligible for a pass.  

The eligibility for an Older Persons Bus Pass is set by the Department for Work and Pensions.  Essex County Council is not responsible for this.


Eligibility for disabled persons pass

Disabled people can qualify under the following categories:

  1. Visually Impaired
  2. Hearing Impaired
  3. Speech Impaired
  4. Unable to walk
  5. Loss of use of both arms
  6. Learning impairment that has resulted in an arrested state of development before adulthood
  7. Unable to drive for reasons of medical fitness.  

A person applying for a bus pass must provide the evidence to show their eligibility.  Essex County Council is required to ensure that it only issues passes where it is satisfied that the criteria has been met.  If you have any questions, you can call us to discuss your application on 0345 200 0388.


Replacing a lost or stolen bus pass

If you have lost your bus pass or it has been stolen, you should call 0345 200 0388 to replace it.  You will need to pay £10 to replace the pass.  

If your pass has been stolen, you should report it to the Police and make a note of the Crime Reference Number.  When calling us you should advise us of the Police Authority you have reported it to and the Crime Reference Number.  This will enable us to replace the pass free of charge.


Bus Pass Renewal

Older People (blue stripe on the right hand side):  Your pass is usually renewed automatically.  However, if you have moved, you need to tell us as soon as you move to ensure that we have the correct information for you. 

Disabled People (orange stripe on the right hand side): Some passes are renewed automatically, but some require evidence to be updated in order to renew a bus pass.  We will write to you if we need new evidence; if you do not hear from us you need not worry as your pass will be renewed automatically. 

Typically, we will automatically renew passes for people with visual impairments and hearing impairments.  However, in respect of other disabilities we might ask for a copy of updated information to enable us to renew your pass.We are happy to help all customers in understanding what evidence we need in order to quickly and easily renew a bus pass.

If you have moved, you need to tell us as soon as you move to ensure that we have the correct information for you.


Telling us you have moved

Have you moved?  Please call us on 0345 200 0388 or email us at as soon as you move so we can update your address.


Bus operator reimbursement

Bus Operators may wish to download the documents below which contain information about the Scheme for 2016/17 and the reimbursement rates.  If you have any questions, please contact Essex County Council by calling 0345 743 0430. 

Please note we cannot assist with applications or replacements on this number and you should call 0345 200 0388 if your query relates to a bus pass.