Apply 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.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for the companion pass, you must already hold either a Disabled person’s bus pass or an Older person’s bus pass from Portsmouth City Council (or be eligible for one).

You are eligible to apply if you are five years old and above and are unable to travel unaccompanied, based on your disability rather than your age, and you meet the eligibility criteria.

The companion is not issued a pass of their own, the pass is issued to the person with the disability and is identified by a C+ on the pass so the companion does not always need to be the same person.

You can only have one concessionary bus pass – if you hold a valid bus pass with us the pass will be cancelled and a companion pass will be ordered.

It is important that the companion pass is used by those who really need it. If you have a pass, it is because a healthcare professional has said that you cannot travel alone.

Companions only get free travel when they travel with you if the journey starts in Portsmouth. They can’t travel free on their own.

Applying for a companion bus pass

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 headgear, (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.

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

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

If your bus pass is expiring in March.

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. When reapplying, 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 currently receives 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

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

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’ disabilities and has allowed us to offer better support with bus travel requirements. The change to the eligibility criteria has been agreed and you can read the report online. 

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 been agreed and you can read the report online.

Contact us

For more information you can contact us by:

Terms and conditions

These Portsmouth Concessionary Travel Pass Terms and Conditions are applicable to all those who live in Portsmouth and who issued with a valid concessionary travel pass by the Portsmouth Travel Concessions Authority.

The Portsmouth Concessionary Travel Pass is part of the English National Travel Concessionary Scheme. The companion pass allows people who are unable to travel alone on public transport to have a companion travel with them free of charge in Portsmouth. The holder of the pass can also use it for free travel on local buses anywhere within England;

  • between 9.30am and 11.00pm on Monday – Friday, and
  • all day at weekends and on public holidays
  1. The pass is not valid in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
  2. The pass is only valid whilst the pass holder`s only or principal residence is in Portsmouth. Any pass holder moving out of the area must notify Portsmouth City Council and apply for a pass in the area where they now live.
  3. The pass can only be used by the pass holder whose name and photograph appear on the pass and is not transferable. Fraudulent use will result in prosecution.
  4. The pass is not valid if out of date, illegible, damaged or altered.
  5. There is a £10 administration fee, payable in advance, for replacing a damaged, defaced or lost pass.
  6. 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.
  7. If there is a technical problem with your card, it will also be replaced free of charge.
  8. The pass must be shown whenever requested by an inspector or driver.
  9. The pass should be returned to the administrator (Portsmouth City Council) if for any reason the holder is no longer entitled to and/or able to make use of the concession.
  10. The pass does not give any rights other than those enjoyed by any fare paying passenger, nor does it entitle a pass holder to be carried in preference to any other passengers.

You can also view the terms and conditions for all concessionary travel in Portsmouth.