free bus travel with a bus pass


Don't let this happen to you

Complaint Examples

Raymond: "I got on bus to Bounds Green and was told emphatically that my Lancashire now card was not valid. I had to use my debit card.

As you may expect I was not very pleased."

Alex: "My card was refused on the 139 to Brixton from Streatham. The driver told me, very aggressively that it was not valid on London buses. Had grandson in pushchair with me so just got the next bus behind with no bother. My bus pass is from Hampshire and have had it for five years frequently using it London as my daughter lives there but have never had a problem before. Now have download page 114 will fight it out next time and just get on regardless, fowarned is forarmed!"


We have recently used West Yorkshire issued concessionary passes on two London routes (6 and 14), without difficulty. We scanned our passes on the machine situated close to the driver at the entrance.

Barbara: "I’ve had my English National Concessionary pass for around 18 months through Hertfordshire and use it a lot in London. This year I’ve had to complain to TFL three times, twice about the same driver of a route 52 bus. After the first encounter, he reduced me to tears (this was my first experience of driver madness) shouting and railing at me, so I got off at the next stop.

For anyone who has been intimidated by aggressive drivers, I’d say YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT. Tell them to call their inspector and take your seat. The driver can’t throw you off as he / she has to get to their destination on time."

The perils for visitors to London in using a bus pass.

Take care when using your pensioners Bus Pass in London, because some Bus Drivers are still failing to accept that passes issued in England are valid for use in the Capital and causing great un-nessesary embarassement and distress to bus pass holders.

We have taken this up with TfL (Transport for London) numerous times hoping to rectify the problem but we are still receiving complaints from travellers to the Capital of confrontation with drivers who refuse to allow them to accept valid bus passes - any bus pass issued in England with the red-rose symbol Red Rose symbol is valid on London buses.

Unfortunately the situation has been made worse because London Transport no longer accept payment using  cash, so in addition to the embarrassment of  a confrontation with the Bus Driver a few people have been caused unnecessary anxiety and distress by being left stranded at the Bus Stop.

The Pensioners Bus Pass is a Nationwide Initiative set up by the Government in 2008 to give pensioners the freedom to use the buses at specified hours (9.30 am to 11pm on Weekdays, and at any time at weekends and public holidays).

Regrettably, a lot of organisations, like Transport for London assume all  older people are fully conversant with current advances in electronics and in addition to being fully computer literate  they all carry Debit or Credit cards instead of cash. Not True and we say it is about time the Mayor, Transport for London, the Bus Companies got their Act together.

If you find yourself in this situation you can refer the Driver to page 114 of his rule book. and if this fails to convince him or her you are entitled to stand your ground and embarrass the Driver - at the end of the day this may prove the only way to get the authorities to listen and take action.

There are ways that you can help yourself overcome driver's resistance to accepting a valid bus pass form outside London by taking some documentation with you or printing off the image below.

Using a bus pass in London

We welcome hearing of your experience in London when using a bus on our Comments page. We wish to know if London bus card readers accept passes issued outside London, whether you had your pass accepted by the driver or not, and if possible details of the route and time.

We recognise that the vast majority of bus drivers in London are accepting valid bus passes, but the few cause a lot of difficulty for older people.


Go to the UK Bus Passes blog

Go to the UK Bus Passes index page