English National Concessionary passes can now be used as a Smartcard on your First bus. First have invested £27 million on new ticket machines - your pass automatically records on the ticket machine so there's no need for the driver to issue a ticket.
Simply hold your pass against the card reader on the ticket machine and wait until it beeps. Then, just show your pass to the driver to confirm you're the authorised holder & take your seat.
Concession Plus pass holders can continue to show the driver their pass - however if you prefer you can use your pass as a Smartcard.
What if my pass doesn't work? You can still travel - your driver will record your pass manually and issue you with a ticket. You should contact your card issuer to arrange for a replacement pass so you can go smart on future journeys. In Essex, visit the Essex County Council website here or call on 0845 200 0388.
How Does the Concessionary Scheme work?
Since Tuesday 1st April 2008, the new national bus concession has enabled eligible users to enjoy free off-peak bus travel on local buses anywhere in England.
What are the off-peak times?
Off-peak hours are now defined as 09.00 to 24.00 Monday to Friday and all day weekends and bank holidays and apply to Districts and Boroughs in Essex as follows:
Basildon, Brentwood, Braintree, Castle Point, Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping Forest, Harlow, Maldon, Rochford, Southend, Tendring and Uttlesford.
Passes issued by Thurrock Council are valid from 09.00 Monday to Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday, but holders of passes issued outside Thurrock can board in Thurrock from 09.30 Monday to Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.
What about visitors from areas outside Essex?
National Concessionary passholders from English districts and boroughs outside Essex can also travel free from 09.00 until 24.00 Monday to Friday and all day weekends and Bank Holidays in the above Districts.
There will be two styles of pass; one for London and a national style pass for the rest of the districts and boroughs in England.
London Freedom Passes
The London Freedom Pass must be presented with an accompanying photocard. They are valid from 09.00 to 24.00 Monday to Friday and all day weekends and bank holidays. Essex and rest of England passes are valid for travel on TfL services in Greater London from 09.00 Monday to Friday and all day weekends and bank holidays, but are not valid for use on the tube.