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Cumbria Bus Pass Concessions    

This information, taken from this web site

seems to reflect what is being said elsewhere re. Cumbria and Lancashire.

Over-60s and other people with concessionary bus passes in Cumbria will enjoy free local bus travel plus other fare concessions from a fortnight tomorrow.

The concessionary bus fare scheme will take effect on Saturday April 1st after being announced by Chancellor Gordon Brown MP in the 2005 Budget. The Chancellor announced that all over-60s should have the right to free, off-peak local bus travel.

Cumbria's six district councils, however, are going a step further and will be offering add-on benefits to the statutory right of free, off-peak local bus travel to over 60s. There will be:

- In Barrow: Free travel all day, all week within the district.

- In Carlisle: Free travel all day, all week within the district. Significantly reduced fares when travelling direct between Carlisle and Cumbria's other five districts.

- In South Lakeland: Within the district there will be half-price fares before 0930 Mondays to Fridays, free travel after 0930 Mondays to Fridays, free travel all day Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. Significantly reduced fares when travelling outside the district within the NoWcard area.

- In Allerdale: Free travel all day, all week across the county.
- In Eden: Free travel all day, all week across the county.

- In Copeland: Free travel all day, all week across the county.

The decisions on what service to offer was taken by the individual district councils, who are funding the concession based mainly on the level of grant received by the Government to administer the scheme. But Cumbria County Council will be helping to co-ordinate the schemes through its role as the operator of the NoWcard concessionary travel scheme in Cumbria.

NoWcard is the concessionary card for Cumbria, Lancashire, Blackburn - with Darwen and Blackpool - which allows reduced price travel on local bus services. Started in 1999, NoWcards are valid on all bus services in Cumbria and on services that start or finish in Cumbria and cross the boundary with Lancashire, Durham, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Dumfries & Galloway and Scottish Borders.

Under the new schemes which take effect from April 1st, NoWcards can be used as the proof that cardholders are eligible for free local bus travel. Passengers don't need to change the way they use their cards - but instead of reduced fares they'll start enjoying free local travel.

As an introductory offer from April 1st, any cardholders who are required to pay for part of their journey when travelling across boundaries can enjoy a flat fee of 50 pence. For example, a passenger living in Kendal travelling to Lancaster will pay just 50 pence. If a Penrith resident travelled to Barrow, the journey would be completely free because it's within Cumbria. Likewise, a Carlisle resident travelling to Whitehaven would pay a flat fee of 50 pence because Carlisle residents are required to pay reduced rates for travel outside their district.

Between spring and autumn this year, buses will be progressively equipped with smart card readers which will allow passengers to swipe their NoWcards and receive an exact calculation of the cost of their journey. The smart card readers will communicate with a microchip in the NoWcard, accessing information on where the passenger lives, which part of the journey should be free and which part they should pay a percentage of the fare.

"It's a win-win situation for the over-60s and disabled users. Not only are they now legally entitled to free, off-peak local bus travel, but there's also add-on benefits from each of the districts. Once the smart card system has been rolled out, all the calculations will be done electronically in the blink of an eye," said Councillor Tim Heslop, cabinet member responsible for transport services.

Any passengers requiring more information on the scheme in their area should contact their local district council. Anyone wanting information on bus services should contact Cumbria County Council's travel line on 0870 608 2 608.

Full details of all routes in Cumbrian can be found here