Help with travelLast updated: 04 November 2013 11:57 UK
Portsmouth City Council operates a concessionary travel scheme - bus pass or travel tokens - to help qualifying residents with their travel costs and to promote the use of public transport.
For more information, phone the concessionary fare helpline on 023 9268 8599, write or visit us at the cash office on the ground floor of Portsmouth City Council Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, PO1 2AL.
Older person's bus pass
Portsmouth residents of pensionable age are entitled to a bus pass giving free off peak travel on local buses. To work out when you can apply for a free bus pass, use Gov.uk's State Pension Age Calculator.
Disabled person's bus pass
The scheme is available to anyone aged over five, registered with a qualifying disability or who has a medical condition that prevents them from driving. You are an eligible disabled person if you:
- are blind or partially sighted, profoundly or severely deaf, without speech
- have a disability, or have suffered an injury, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to walk
- have long term loss of the use of both arms or do not have arms
- have a learning disability - a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning
- would have an application to drive a motor vehicle refused due to your disability
- are a member or veteran of the Armed Services who has been seriously injured in service
Instead of a bus pass, eligible disabled persons can choose travel tokens, which can be used for taxis and other forms of travel.
Applicants receive one set of tokens per year, or a proportion of the annual amount, depending when they join the scheme. For more information, phone the concessionary fare helpline on 023 9268 8599.
Applying for a concessionary bus pass
New applicants can apply in person as soon as they become eligible. Everyone applying for bus passes needs to bring with them:
- proof that you live in Portsmouth, such as a council tax bill, housing benefit, rent book, electoral registration or utility bill and
- a passport quality photograph.
Also bring either:
- for an older person's pass, proof of age, such as birth certificate, passport, driving licence or medical card
- for a disabled person's pass:
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability living allowance (DLA) with a mobility component
- Personal independence payment (PIP) where the applicant has been awarded at least 8 points or more for the PIP "Moving Around" and "Communicating Verbally" activities
- Award letter for guaranteed income payment for tariff levels 1-8 under the 2005 Armed Forces Compensation scheme
- Letter from the DVLA giving notice of long term refusal or withdrawal of driving license on medical grounds, (misuse of alcohol or drugs are not included under this scheme)
- A mental health healthcare professional's standard NHS exclusion letter containing their contact details
- Blue badge or registration with social care (yellow card)
No other forms of proof are acceptable - passes will be posted directly to the applicant, and can take up to 14 days to arrive.
Using free bus passes
Free bus passes can be used anywhere in England during off peak times, which are 9.30am to 11pm Monday to Friday, and all day weekends and public holidays.
The bus pass only covers travel in England; not Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Residents who are registered blind are eligible for a bus pass valid for Portsmouth which allows free travel all day, not just at off peak times.
There is a £10 administration fee, payable in advance, for replacing a damaged, defaced or lost pass. The fee is not refundable if the lost pass is later found.
Report stolen passes to the police, so that you get a crime reference number. With a verified crime reference number we issue replacement cards without charge. If there is a technical problem with your card, it will also be replaced free of charge.
Companion bus passes
The companion pass allows those unable to travel alone on public transport to have a companion travel with them free of charge. To be eligible, you must have all the following:
- a concessionary travel pass from Portsmouth City Council or be eligible for one
- receive housing benefit, or provide proof of eligibility for housing benefit
- a signed declaration from a doctor confirming they are unable to travel alone.
Your companion does not receive a bus pass in their own right, so a companion is not restricted to one specific person. Only one companion may travel free on any one journey, and you must both get on and leave the bus at the same points.
Because the companion pass is a local benefit for Portsmouth residents, your companion may have to pay the full adult fare if a journey starts outside Portsmouth. The city council boundary points can be broadly described by the following landmarks:
- Mother Kelly's fish and chip shop on Southampton Road towards Portchester
- The George Inn on London Road heading north
- Havant Road and Rectory Road junction towards Bedhampton.
Dial a Ride
Dial a Ride provides fully accessible, door-to-door transport service for anyone who finds it difficult or impossible to use ordinary bus services. Minibuses collect you from your door and take you to your destination, like a taxi service. All the minibuses have low steps and a passenger lift for wheelchair users, although they can't transport mobility scooters.
To use Dial a Ride you must be a resident of Portsmouth who has a mobility or sensory impairment, or who finds it difficult or cannot use bus services. You do not have to be a wheelchair user or registered disabled.
You can take a friend or family member with you as a companion, and assistance dogs are welcome.
For more details of costs, how to register and to download an application form, follow the link to Pete’s Airlink, which operates Dial a Ride in Portsmouth under contract to Portsmouth City Council.
Shopmobility provides manual and powered wheelchairs and scooters to help people with limited mobility to shop and use the city centre facilities. It serves Portsmouth City Centre and the Historic Dockyard, as well as delivering chairs and scooters to individuals’ residences.
Anyone with either a temporary or permanent disability can use the service, whether resident or visitor. First time users need to register and pay a returnable deposit. We’ll train you how to use the scooters.
You'll find Shopmobility near car parks, so you can park your own car and transfer easily to your chosen wheelchair or scooter.
Shopmobility is run by Portsmouth Disability Forum under contract to Portsmouth City Council. For further information or to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 023 9281 6973, follow on Facebook Portsmouth Shopmobility or visit us at Frank Sorrell Centre, Prince Albert Road, Southsea, PO4 9HR.