Last updated:
21 February 2017

Free disabled persons' bus pass

Apply for, renew or replace a free bus pass for disabled people.

1 What the County Council offers

We can provide a bus pass offering free bus travel to people who are disabled, incapacitated or medically unfit to drive. 

The County Council also offers:

Be aware that we cannot provide a bus pass AND a railcard.

2 Eligibility

You must be a permanent West Sussex resident and someone who, in accordance with Section 146 of the Transport Act 2000:

  • is blind or partially sighted
  • is profoundly or severely deaf
  • is without speech
  • has a disability, or has suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to walk
  • does not have arms or has long-term loss of the use of both arms
  • has a learning disability, that is, a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning
  • would have their application for a driving licence refused on the grounds of medical fitness (apart from due to persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol).

3 What you need to provide when you apply

When applying for a new pass, you will need to provide copies of the following with your application form:

  1. One clear and recent passport photo with a light background.
  2. One proof of address, such as:
    • valid driving licence
    • most recent Council Tax bill
    • utility bill (no more than three months old)
    • bank statement (no more than three months old)
    • proof of pension entitlement
    • NHS medical card.
  3. One evidence of disability. Please refer to Page 2 of the application form on this page for a full list of acceptable supporting documents.

Do NOT send original documents.

4 Apply for a free bus pass

Step 1. Download, print and complete the application form:

Download the disabled bus pass (and railcard) application form (PDF, 168KB)

Step 2. Attach copies of the supporting evidence.

Step 3: Post everything to:

West Sussex Bus Pass
PO Box 212
Waterlooville
Hants
PO7 6ZN

5 Companion passes

If you are applying for a disabled persons' pass you may be able to apply for a Companion Pass if you need someone to travel with you.

If you are receiving the higher rate of Attendance Allowance, we need no further evidence.

In all other cases, you must supply a report from a medical specialist confirming that you need a companion to travel.

A companion will only be able to travel for free if they are accompanying you.

How to apply

Please use the application form to apply for a bus pass and the companion element.

If you already have a disabled persons' bus pass you can apply separately for the companion element. You do not need to complete the whole application form again but you will need to send in the appropriate medical evidence of the support you require.

6 Using your free bus pass

You can travel on local buses anywhere in England as far and as often as you like.

Where and when you can use your pass

LocationWeekdays (not public holidays)Weekends and public holidays
West Sussex (not bus N700) Any time Any time
Any other local authority in England 9.30am to 11.00pm Any time
Transport for London buses Any time Any time

Please note that free travel may only be available off-peak outside of West Sussex. If you are unsure if your pass will be valid on your journey, please check with the bus operator or other local authority.

You will not be able to use your pass on:

  • services where most seats are reserved, like coaches
  • long distance services with limited stops
  • services that run for less than six weeks, such as special event buses
  • tourist services such as open-top bus tours
  • buses which are replacing trains.

Where you can't use your pass you will have to pay the full normal fare. You may be able to get help if travelling to hospital or healthcare facilities.

7 Renewing or updating your pass

A disabled persons' bus pass is usually valid for five years but the expiry date may vary depending on the disability evidence you provide. For example, if you have a temporary disability an annual renewal may be appropriate.

We currently send an application form to all disabled bus pass holders shortly before their pass expires inviting them to renew. Once everybody has been through the assessment process we hope to automatically renew bus passes for those with lifelong conditions.

Please let us know if:

  • you do not receive your new bus pass by your current pass's expiry date
  • your details change, such as your name or address.

Bus pass holders who move to West Sussex

If you have a bus pass issued by another county and you move to West Sussex you must:

8 Replacing a lost, stolen or damaged bus pass

If you have damaged or lost your card, or it has been stolen, please let us know.

We will replace a card that has been stolen free of charge if you provide a crime reference number. Otherwise, we will charge £5.00 to replace it.

If you are requesting a pass to replace a lost, stolen or damaged one you do not need to include a photo.

9 Contact us

If you need help or advice, please contact the West Sussex Bus Pass Information helpline. The helpline is open between 9.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday. Please leave a message if you call outside of these hours and we will return your call.

If you find a bus pass or it is no longer required, for example, if the pass holder has passed away, please return it with a covering note.

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