Apply for an Older Person’s Bus Pass

Who is Eligible?

Men or women who are permanent residents of Southend-on-Sea who have reached the state pensionable age. You can check when you will qualify by visiting the GOV.UK website and entering your date of birth into the calculator or contact Southend Borough Council Customer Service Centre on 01702 215003.

If you qualify for the older persons bus pass please download the application form. This can then be emailed in to or sent in to:

Customer Service Centre
Civic Centre
Victoria Avenue

You will need to supply with your application:

  1. A recent colour passport style and quality photograph (35mm x 45mm). Please note that hats or sunglasses must not be worn in the photograph.
  2. In addition we will require proof of your address dated within the last 3 months (unless stated otherwise below) alternatively tick the box on the application to confirm we can check your Council Tax records.  Proof of address can be a Council Tax bill dated within the last 12 months, utility bill, rent book, bank statement or a benefit award dated within the last 12 months.
  3. Also we will require proof of identity and date of birth, which can be a birth certificate, driving licence or passport.

Please send photocopies only, do not send original documents as they cannot be returned and will be disposed of securely once the application has been processed.

Once the application and evidence has been received a bus pass will be posted to your address.

The Bus Pass

Once in receipt of your National Concessionary Bus Pass you will be able to receive free off peak travel on local bus services throughout England. The pass is valid for use within the Borough of Southend and the other districts of Essex between the hours of 9.00am and midnight Monday to Friday and at any time during weekends and Public Holidays, it is also valid for use across all other Counties of England between the hours of 9.30am until 11.00pm Monday to Friday and at any time during weekends and Public Holidays.

Free travel is only permitted on local bus services within the hours shown above. At all other times a fare must be paid in accordance with the fares charged by individual operators and cannot be reclaimed from either the operator, the Local Authority or County Council in which travel is taken or from the Authority who issued the pass.

Find out when and where you can use your bus pass by visiting our using your bus pass page

The Pass

Your pass will be of a National design and is identifiable on the front of the pass by a red Rose and Ribbon on a white background, included is the issuing authority's name and crest. It also shows a photograph and the name of the entitled user with the expiry date of the pass. 

The pass is issued by a contractor on behalf of Southend Borough Council to eligible residents. 

Those eligible men and women that have reached the pensionable age of women have a pass with a blue side panel on the front right hand side; those eligible disabled or eligible Service Personnel and Veterans will have a pass with an orange side panel on the front right hand side. 

In some cases a disabled person or Service Personnel and Veteran will be eligible to have a Companion (please see specific detail relating to companions) travel with them and this entitlement is identified by a C+ on the top right hand side of the orange coloured panel.


The pass is of a Smartcard design, it is a plastic card which contains a microchip that can store information electronically and means it can, if enabled, be used to work with a reader. The card is a different type to that used in London, however work is continuing to enable its use in different ways across the country. In the mean time when travelling, users will be permitted free travel if when boarding a bus they show their pass to the bus driver or if the electronic equipment is available, put the card across the smart reader pad.

Other Travel

Eligible residents of Southend having a National Concessionary Bus Pass are not permitted use of the pass to gain free travel on other forms of transport or public transport i.e. tubes, trains, trams, Dial-a-Ride services, community services and ferries, either within Southend or in other Districts throughout England.

Definition of Local Travel

Local travel is normally made on bus services operating within a local area, District or Borough. In some instances this includes services which operate to specific locations outside of the normal area of travel but includes pickup points at local bus stops to areas within a County. In other cases operators give a limited stop service which has a destination beyond the normal local services but extend to near localities outside the District, Borough or County but are not registered as long distance coach travel. If you are unsure please check if free travel is available by contacting the individual operator.

Tour Buses and Long Distance Coaches

The National Concessionary Bus Pass is not valid on bus/coach day trips or tours or holidays. They are also not valid for use on long haul journeys to other areas of the country, many of which are operated by National Express or other well-known operators.


The National Concessionary Bus Pass can be used on local bus services throughout London, but is not valid on tubes, trains, trams or ferries. London Sight Seeing Tours are unlikely to accept your pass but please check with individual operators before travelling.

Wales and Scotland

The National Concessionary Bus Pass is not valid for use on public services of any kind within Wales and Scotland. Free travel on local bus services into Wales or Scotland may be permitted if the nearest District Council agrees to pay for the cross border journeys; enquiries should be made through each district offices or via the bus operator to confirm if any free travel is available.

Expiry Date of Passes

Your pass will show a specific expiry date, the time period under which the pass will expire will vary according to eligibility. In some cases passes will be issued for short periods and it may be necessary to carry out a review of the applicant's eligibility before a new pass can be issued. Each pass will expire after periods of one to five years. Eligible applicants will have their passes renewed automatically and should be received preceding the expiry date. If your circumstances change before the pass expires please contact the Authority from which the pass was provided.

Change of Address

Bus passes are issued and paid for by the issuing Authority. In order for each Authority to maintain its correct issues it is necessary for any resident moving to a new address to obtain a bus pass from the Authority responsible for where they live.

As a resident of Southend your pass is issued and paid for by Southend Borough Council. Any resident changing address within Southend should update the bus pass department with proof of their new address. Any resident moving away from Southend will need to return their current pass and re-apply for a new pass from the Authority in the area they are moving to.

Returned Bus Passes

If you no longer require your bus pass please return it to the issuing authority for cancellation.

Page last updated: 16/10/2019