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Concessionary travel – East Dorset

National bus pass (concessionary travel)

Holders of a national bus pass enjoy free off-peak local bus travel anywhere in England. Since April 2011 travel concessions for older people and disabled people in Dorset have been the responsibility of Dorset County Council. The district and borough councils will continue to process applications and answer queries on concessionary travel on behalf of the county council until March 2013.

From 6 April 2010 qualifying residents of East Dorset have been able to travel free Mon – Fri 9.30am – 11pm and all day at weekends and bank holidays on buses throughout England (subject to national scheme restrictions).

Are you eligible? – Effective since April 2010, the government have introduced changes to the criteria by which people qualify for a bus pass on the grounds of age bringing it in line with the increase in the pensionable age for women from 60 to 65. The age of eligibility will rise in stages between 2010 and 2020, meaning the earliest age for men and women to get bus passes will gradually increase from 60 on 6th April 2010 to 65 on 5th April 2020.

A national pass is available to permanent residents of East Dorset if the applicants have reached their state pension age, or are below pensionable age and disabled, and meet the following criteria:

• You are partially sighted or blind

• You have a learning disability

• You are without speech or hearing

• You are without arms or have lost the use of both arms

• You have been refused a driving licence for medical reasons

• You have a disability or have suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long term affect on your ability to walk (which is comparable to the level required to claim High Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance).

• You are receiving DLA – Higher Rate Mobility Component, or the War Pensioners Mobility Allowance.

• You have been assessed as having a permanent and substantial disability by the Service Personnel & Veterans Agency (SPVA).

Additional East Dorset concessions

Residents of East Dorset who are entitled to a free bus pass are also offered two additional concessions over and above the minimum scheme. These additional concessions are all day travel, not limited to off-peak hours, and companion passes. From April 2011, these passes can be used across Dorset, excluding Bournemouth and Poole. Your free bus pass is not valid on coach journeys (for example National Express), private coach or bus tours.

Companion passes

If a person holds a companion pass then they are entitled to have another person accompany them on their journey free of charge. In order to receive a companion pass documentary evidence that the holder of the companion pass cannot travel unaccompanied is required.

Companion passes are not issued to the companion themselves but are identified with a “C+” in the top right hand corner of the disabled Person’s bus pass. This means that the disabled pass holder can take different companions with them when necessary – it does not need to be the same person each time.

Companion passes are not part of the national scheme but are a local concession. This means that companions are only able to travel for free in areas where East Dorset has reached an agreement with other local authorities. At present this includes rural Dorset, Christchurch or in Salisbury District. There is no agreement with Bournemouth and Poole so in these areas you will have to pay full fare for your companion.

For further information contact:

Concessionary Travel (Christchurch and East Dorset Councils)

email: customer-services@christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk
Tel: 01202 495000
Fax: 01202 495234 http://www.dorsetforyou.com/390798

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