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Older adults in the UK are eligible for a variety of public transport concessions, helping save you money in the process. These include a Senior Railcard, a Disabled Persons Railcard, an Older Person’s Bus Pass and more!
Here, we’ve looked at how to get each of these discounts or freebies for older adults, along with other discounted forms of public transport you may be eligible for.
We also have an article dedicated to discounts for carers.
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You could be eligible for one of the following railcards that’ll get you discounts on train services, depending on your age, relationship and whether you’re classed as having a disability:
Both of these are discount cards. You purchase them each year for a set fee and they get you a third off the cost of your train travel.
The Senior Railcard is available for anyone aged 60 and over to buy. This costs just £30 (or £70 for three years), so will have effectively paid for itself after only a few train trips.
When using the Senior Railcard, you can expect to make average annual savings of £76, or £5.34 per journey. For example, a train from London to Liverpool goes down from around £68.60 to £45.25, while a train from Doncaster to London goes down from £32.50 to £21.45.
You can apply for one of these through the Senior Railcard website. You’ll need a valid passport or UK driving licence for ID. You can also apply in person at some of the UK’s most staffed railway stations.
If you meet any of the following criteria, you could be eligible for a Disabled Persons Railcard:
To apply for this railcard or to get more information surrounding eligibility criteria, visit the Disabled Person’s Railcard website.
Though there’s no railcard specifically aimed at older couples, the Two Together Railcard works in the same way for people of all ages. This railcard is to be used by you and a second person - both of you will be named on the railcard. They’re best used by yourself and the person you travel with most - often your partner or spouse.
When using a Two Together Railcard, you get one-third off rail fares when travelling together. It costs just £30 and leads to average savings of £153 per year (or £6.26 per journey).
For example, travelling from London to Edinburgh would typically cost around £145, but this goes down to £95.70 with a Two Together Railcard. Similarly, getting the train from York to London goes down from £88 to £58.
You could be eligible for one of the following free bus passes, depending on your age and whether you’re classed as having a disability:
Both of these passes will get you free travel on local buses.
It might also be worth getting in touch with individual transport operators to see if they offer any discounts. For example, National Express offer Coachcards to older (60+) or disabled customers. These cost £12.50 a year and save you a third on your travel.
You’ll become eligible for an older person’s bus pass when you reach the State Pension age.
Apply for your bus pass through the GOV.UK website.
Unlike an older person’s bus pass, there’s no central provider for the disabled person’s bus pass.
To find out if you’re eligible and where to apply, get in touch with your local council. All you need to do is enter your postcode and you’ll be redirected to the relevant part of your local council’s website.
The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) covers senior travel discounts in England. Passes are issued locally, but give cardholders free bus travel throughout all of England. An ENCTS bus pass also allows for some free and discounted rail tickets. You must be 66 years or older to be eligible.
c2c’s Senior Rover ticket allows unlimited one-day train travel for just £7 (or £10 when including London destinations). These are available to anyone aged 65 years and over.
Older adults can get free rail tickets in Greater Manchester between 09:30 and midnight Monday to Friday, and anytime at weekends and during public holidays. Eligibility is based on age and residency in Greater Manchester.
Senior citizens can get free rail tickets in Merseyside after 09:30 Monday to Friday (to avoid morning peak times), and anytime at weekends and during public holidays. Eligibility is based on age and residency in Merseyside.
Older adults get 50% off rail fares in South Yorkshire between 09:30 and 23:00 Monday to Friday, and anytime at weekends and during public holidays. Eligibility is based on age and residency in South Yorkshire.
Older adults in Tyne and Wear can purchase reduced-price train tickets as well as extra discounts if they get a Metro Gold Card (£12 per year). Eligibility is based on age and residency in Tyne and Wear.
Older adults get free train travel in the West Midlands between 09:30 and 23:00 Monday to Friday, and anytime at weekends and during public holidays. Eligibility is based on age and residency in the West Midlands.
Older adults get 50% off rail journeys within West Yorkshire after 09:30 Monday to Friday, and anytime at weekends and during public holidays. Eligibility is based on age and residency in West Yorkshire.
Members get a 20% discount on Off-Peak and Advance and cheaper flat-fare tickets when purchased online. These offers are available all year round to Scotrail customers aged 50 and over. Scotrail Club 50 is perfect for people who aren’t yet eligible for a Senior Railcard.
The National Entitlement Card (NEC) allows older adults in Scotland to receive travel discounts. Anyone living in Scotland can access discounted travel schemes throughout the country. To be eligible, you must also be 60 years or over.
Scotland’s two largest cities offer the following rail travel discounts:
There are also reduced train fares for 60+ NEC holders in other parts of Scotland.
In Wales, travel discounts for older adults are covered by the Welsh Government Concessionary Travel Scheme. This offers free bus travel throughout Wales to people aged 60 and over, as well as some free and discounted rail tickets.
The following free and discounted rail travel is available to Welsh Concessionary Travel Scheme holders:
You’re eligible if aged between 60 and 64 while being a permanent Northern Ireland resident. A 60 Plus SmartPass entitles you to free bus and rail travel throughout the country.
This is aimed at permanent Northern Ireland residents over 65. They entitle you to free bus and rail travel throughout the country, along with free cross-border rail travel all along the Belfast to Dublin line.
London Freedom Passes allow London residents to travel around the city for free, including on trams, National Rail services, the Underground, river services and buses, as well as free local bus journeys nationally.
If you live in London, you can apply for a Freedom Pass if one of the following applies to you:
You can travel for free on TfL (Transport for London) services with an Older Person’s Freedom Pass from 09:00 on weekdays and anytime on weekends and bank holidays. A Disabled Person’s Freedom Pass allows you to travel at any time on TfL services.
To learn more about the London Freedom Pass or to apply for it, visit the London Councils Freedom Pass webpage.
If you’re over 60 but under the State Pension age and you live in any London borough, you can get a special Oyster card for free travel in the city on several different rail services.
Many people get a 60+ London Oyster Photocard before they’re entitled to a Freedom Pass. If you’re eligible for a Freedom Pass, you can’t get a 60+ London Oyster Photocard.
This costs £20 and gives free travel on:
As well as all London Overground and TfL Rail services, you can also use the 60+ London Oyster Photocard on certain National Rail services on the following lines:
You can learn more about the 60+ London Oyster Photocard and make an application through their webpage on Transport for London.
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