Concessionary travel - West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland
National bus passes (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 West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland 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).
Am I 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 to correspond with the age that you reach your state pension age.
A national pass is available to permanent residents of West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland 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 concessions in West Dorset
In addition to the national scheme concessions residents of West Dorset who are entitled to a free bus pass are entitled to travel free of charge all day and are not limited to off-peak hours. This means residents of West Dorset can use their bus pass at any time of the day and on any day of the week, however this is limited to journeys that start within the West Dorset areas. Your free bus pass cannot be used on coach journeys (for example National Express), private coach or bus tours. It cannot be used on the Dorchester park and ride scheme either.
Companion travel (Weymouth & Portland only)
Disabled residents of Weymouth & Portland who are entitled to a free bus pass and who cannot travel on buses unaccompanied are offered a companion pass. A letter from your GP, another medical professional, or Dorset Social Services is required confirming that you are unable to travel alone due to your disability and explaining why you require a companion. If you are granted this element, companions are able to travel for free on any bus journey starting in rural Dorset but not on journeys starting in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole. For further information and an application form for any of the Travel Concessions enquiries can be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0300 330 1201.