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Frequently asked questions about the re-issue of concessionary bus passes

Find out answers to the most common questions we get asked about the re-issue of concessionary bus passes.

How to renew your bus pass online

When the bus passes were re-issued about 10 years ago, I automatically received a new one in the post. Why do I have to re-apply this time?
This decision has been taken by Transport for Wales on behalf of Welsh Government, and is linked to recent changes in Data Protection legislation. 

Why isn't the council re-issuing the passes on this occasion?
There are approximately 750,000 pass holders across Wales, and approximately 65,000 of these reside in the City and County of Swansea. Councils have limited resources to be able to deliver a project of this scale in the time available, and therefore the decision has been taken that Transport for Wales will undertake the function instead.

Do I need to provide a new photograph for my new pass?
If you choose to re-apply online, you can elect to keep the same photograph that's on your current pass or select a new one. However, if you choose to re-apply using a paper application form, you will have to supply a new photograph.

What is the website address for the Transport for Wales portal so that I can apply online?
It's www.tfw.wales/travelcards.

What is the telephone number for assistance?
It's 0300 303 4240.

Why can't I telephone a member of council staff?
Councils have limited staff available to deal with the large volume of enquiries anticipated. Therefore a dedicated contact centre and helpline has been set up to help with bus pass enquiries from across Wales.

Can you send me a paper application form?
You can request a paper application form by telephoning 0300 303 4240.

Can I ask for a paper application form at the Civic Centre or Bus Station, or download one from the council's website?
Unfortunately not. You will need to telephone the number above to request one.

What information do I need to be able to re-apply online?
You will need four pieces of information:

  1. the 19 digit number on your current pass
  2. your date of birth
  3. your postcode
  4. your National Insurance number

These will enable you to match up the current information held on file. A friend, family member or social worker can re-apply on your behalf.

I hold a pass on disability grounds / disability plus companion grounds, so will I need to be re-assessed before I can apply for my new pass?
No you won't. You will still need to re-apply for a pass, but you won't be re-assessed until either 2020 or 2021.

Can I still use my current white and green pass?
Yes, but only until 31 December. When you receive your new pass, you must stop using your current pass. This needs to be cut up and disposed of like an out-of-date bank or credit card.

Can I use both my current pass and my new pass until 31 December?
In order to combat potential fraud, if it's determined that both passes are in use, both will be cancelled and won't be accepted by bus drivers, which means that you'll have to pay the appropriate bus fare instead.

If I don't re-apply by 31 December, can I still use my current pass in the new year?
You should aim to re-apply before 31 December to ensure that you receive your new pass and will be able to benefit from free travel in the new year.

I've been advised that I'll have to wait up to 15 working days for new pass, whereas it was previously only about a week. What is the reason?
The new passes are being printed by an agency based in Hull, rather than locally by the council. Due to the large numbers of passes that they will be printing over the coming months, the process will take longer. If the council was to print the passes itself, it's likely that its timescales would also have to be extended.

I turn 60 during the next few months so I'll be applying for a pass for the first time, rather than re-applying for a new pass. What is the process? 
You can either apply using the online portal on the Transport for Wales website or submit a paper-based application form. You'll need to provide proof of your age, proof of your address in Swansea, a colour passport-size photograph and your National Insurance number. Please allow up to 15 days from the date of your application for your pass to be printed and sent to you by post.

Why isn't the council printing the new passes?
This is because of the volume of passes that need to be printed and issued before 31 December. The new passes are therefore being printed by a bureau based in Hull, rather than the council.

If I want to apply online and I don't have my own computer. Can I use the computer at my local library?
Yes, computers are available at all the council's libraries, and at the Contact Centre in the Civic Centre, Swansea. The staff can show you how to access the Transport for Wales website.

I know of an elderly resident who does not have any support network and will therefore struggle to renew a pass online. Will the council be able to provide one-to-one assistance?
The council has limited resources available to provide one to one support. However, if there are residents who will genuinely struggle, they, or another party on their behalf, can contact the council to make an appointment for one-to-one assistance. The council will be able to provide this service once the pass re-issuing process is fully up and running.

Why has the cost of a duplicate pass risen from £5 to £10?
The council cannot make a profit on the cost of providing a duplicate pass. The cost has been frozen at £5.00 since 2002 whereas the costs to the council have increased over the years. Transport for Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government is managing the re-issuing of duplicate passes and has taken the view that the true cost of producing a pass is nearer to £10.00.

Why can't I  pay for a duplicate pass over the counter at the Civic Centre? 
Transport for Wales will be issuing replacement passes and they don't have local staff who can receive cash payments. Payment can therefore only be made by card either online or by telephone through the bus pass helpline.

When all the passes have been re-issued, will the council be processing applications for new and duplicate passes again?
This decision has not yet been made by the Welsh Government.

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