Age related free travel bus pass

If you live in Suffolk, you'll be entitled to a bus pass giving free off-peak travel on local buses anywhere in England when you reach 'eligible age'.

Beyond 2020, the age of eligibility for concessionary travel will continue to increase in line with any future changes to the state pension age.

Suffolk County Council is now providing the national statutory scheme, which is free bus travel during the following periods:

  • between the hours of 9.30am and 11.00pm Monday to Friday
  • all day Saturday and Sunday
  • all day on Bank Holidays


Who can have an 'Age Related' free travel bus pass?

If you live in Suffolk, you will be entitled to a bus pass giving free off-peak travel on local buses when you reach 'eligible age'.

If you were born after 5 April 1950, the age you become eligible is tied to changes in the state pension age for women.

The age of eligibility is therefore:

  • for women - pensionable age
  • for men - pensionable age of a women born on the same day

Check which date you'll become eligible for a bus pass by using the state pension age calculator (external).


When is off peak travel?

*Off peak hours are 9.30am until 11pm Monday to Friday and all day on weekends and Bank Holidays.

You will only be entitled to free travel if a ticket is purchased between these hours regardless of the scheduled departure time, free travel is based solely on the time that the ticket is issued.


What is the definition of a 'local' bus?

The definition of a local bus will be self evident in most cases, but in a few instances could include some longer distance buses and coach services where part of the route is registered as a local bus service. 

If in doubt check with the operator. Find contact details for your bus operator.


How do I get an 'Age Related' Free travel bus pass?

Please ensure you are eligible before requesting or downloading an application form, you can check which date you will become eligible for a bus pass by using the state pension age calculator (external).

All application forms will require a passport photograph and proof of eligibility.

Please don't send original proof documents, send photocopies only. Suffolk County Council can't accept any responsibility for items that are mislaid in the post. No documentation will be returned. 

Suffolk County Council is unable to cover any costs incurred getting any letters/proof required from the medical profession or other specified medical person to support your application.  

Completed applications are to be returned with a passport-sized photograph to:

SCC Free Travel Bus Pass
PO Box 212

Please note we are only able to process Suffolk County Council application forms. Forms previously produced by borough or district councils will not be accepted.


Will I be able to enjoy free travel anywhere within the UK?

No, the bus pass can only be used within England.


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

Probably not. As a general rule local councils will only provide additional services for their own residents. 

It is best to check with other local councils before you travel.


I don't live in London but visit relatives there occasionally.  Will I be able to enjoy the same benefits as a Freedom Pass holder?

No, because those benefits are paid for by the London authorities, only London Freedom Pass holders will be able to enjoy additional local travel on the tube, trains and trams. 

However, If you have a National Free Travel Bus Pass issued by Suffolk County Council you can use it, at any time, to travel free on buses displaying the red roundel.

You should show your pass to the driver. If the bus you're on doesn't display the red roundel, check with the driver if you can use it; most will let you travel free between 09:30 and 23:00 on weekdays, and at any time on weekends and public holidays.


What will my pass look like?

The pass will be printed on white plastic and will include your photo on the front and a blue strip on the side. 


I have lost my pass, can I get a new one?

If you lose your pass, please contact our information line on 0345 6000659 and they will provide guidance on what to do next. 

Please note that a replacement fee may be applicable.


My pass is failing to read successfully, do I need a replacement?

No. If your pass isn't scanning on buses it isn't the pass that's faulty, it is more likely that the reader on the bus has not been programmed to read your pass.

If your pass doesn't scan, provided it has a valid expiry date and is used off peak*, the driver must allow you to use it as a flashcard and free travel is applicable. You should not be charged for the journey.


Further information

Contact our free travel bus pass information line on 0345 6000659 or download our leaflet (PDF, 137 KB).

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