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Apply for a companion bus pass

During 2020 we carried out a 12 month trial which assessed applicants’ eligibility for a companion pass based on their disability rather than their income.

The information we collected from this trial has enabled us to gain a better understanding of customers’ disability and has allowed us to offer better support with bus travel requirements. The change to the eligibility criteria has now been agreed and you can read the report here.

Applying for a companion bus pass

If you need someone to help you when you travel on public transport you can apply for a companion pass ‘Orange stripe + C’. The pass allows people who are unable to travel alone on public transport to have a companion travel with them free of charge in Portsmouth. To be eligible to apply for the companion pass, you must already hold a disabled or older person’s travel pass from Portsmouth City Council (or be eligible for one).

To find out if you’re eligible, read our eligibility guidance published on the Disabled person’s bus pass or Older person’s bus pass pages

  1. To apply for a pass, you will need to provide the following documents:
  • Proof of age
  • Proof that you live in Portsmouth (such as a council tax bill, tenancy agreement, electoral registration or utility bill)
  • A passport-quality colour photograph. Your photograph must show your head and shoulders only, without head gear, (except on religious or medical grounds) front facing and alone
  • Your current older person’s bus pass, or disabled person’s bus pass, or the qualifying documents if you don’t already have one.
  1. You will also need to provide one of the following documents:
  • War Pensioners Mobility Allowance
  • A letter from the Department of Work and Pensions confirming that the applicant is currently in receipt of the higher rate of care and the higher rate of care mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal Independence Payment at eight points or above against either the PIP ‘moving around’ or ‘communicating verbally’ activities and enhanced rate of care
  • Personal Independence Payment at eight points or above against the ‘planning and following a journey’ activity and enhanced rate of care
  • Evidence you receive Attendance Allowance at the higher rate
  1. You must also provide a report from a healthcare professional (such as a physiotherapist, podiatrist, nurse etc). The report must include:
  • The healthcare professional’s contact details
  • Confirmation of your disabilities and your inability to travel alone

Apply for a companion bus pass using our online form.

Renewing your companion bus pass

When your current pass expires you will need to show us that you are eligible by providing us with the following:

  1. One of the following documents:
  • War Pensioners Mobility Allowance
  • A letter from the Department of Work and Pensions confirming that the applicant is currently in receipt of the higher rate of care and the Higher rate of care mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal Independence Payment at eight points or above against either the PIP ‘moving around’ or ‘communicating verbally’ activities and enhanced rate of care
  • Personal Independence Payment at eight points or above against the ‘planning and following a journey’ activity and enhanced rate of care
  • Evidence you receive Attendance Allowance at the higher rate
  1. A report from a healthcare professional (such as a physiotherapist, podiatrist, nurse etc), which must include:
  • The healthcare professional’s contact details
  • Confirmation of your disabilities and your inability to travel alone

Bus passes that expire in March 2022

  • If we have assessed you to have a permanent disability you will receive a new pass in the post automatically, unless we contact you before expiry.
  • If your bus pass is issued on a temporary basis, we would normally ask you to reapply for a new pass at this time of year, however due to government restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic, we have automatically renewed your bus pass. The expiry date of your new bus pass will be 31 March 2023. You will need to reapply for a new bus pass next year. We will write to you before the expiry date to explain how to reapply, and what documents you will need to provide as proof of eligibility.

If your bus pass is expiring in less than a week and your new one hasn’t arrived, please contact us.

We send your bus pass to the address we have on our records, so you must let us know if your address changes.

Using the companion bus pass

The companion pass is not allocated to a specific person, so it can be used by anybody who is travelling with you. Only one companion may travel free on any one journey, and you must both get on and leave the bus at the same points. The companion may be a child aged 11 or over as long as they are able to provide assistance to the companion bus pass holder.

If your journey starts outside Portsmouth, your companion may need to pay the full fare. The city 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
  • Jubilee Avenue at Rowland Road towards Portchester

Contact us

For more information you can contact us by:

  • Telephone: 023 9268 8575
  • Email: concessionaryfares@portsmouthcc.gov.uk
  • Post:
    Concessionary Fares
    Portsmouth City Council
    Civic Offices
    Guildhall Square
    PO1 2AL
  • In person at the Civic Offices Monday-Friday 9am-1pm