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Free bus pass age is rising in England – check if you can get it before state pension age

In England, free bus passes are available to those over the state pension age, which is currently 66 but is rising. However, people living in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland can get free travel from 60.

While the majority of English seniors have to wait until they turn 66, those living in parts of the country, such as London, can receive free bus, tube and transport services from the age of 60.

Free bus passes are usually distributed by local councils, with Britons advised to check with them for the exact eligibility criteria and application process. 

Additionally, the postcode and age checker on the website can showcase when one can expect to be eligible for the bus pass. 

Potential applicants can find the checker here: Apply for an older person’s bus pass

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The checker enables claimants to check:

  • How to apply for a bus pass from their local council
  • How to check if a person can get a bus pass sooner
  • After entering their postcode, individuals will be redirected to the website of their local authority where they can find out about the rules for their area.

Eligible seniors in London can check the transport for London website to apply for their Oyster photocard. 


Outside of England, Welsh citizens can receive their free bus pass across the country at the age of 60. 

The Scottish National Entitlement Card allows anyone over the age of 60 as well as those with a disability to receive free bus travel around Scotland and their local area.

This card scheme provides for the cardholder and additional free travel for their companions where required for eligible disabled people of any age. 

Additionally, a new scheme in Scotland allows young people aged between five and 21 free bus travel. 

The disparity in age requirements across the different nations stems from the connection with the state pension age. 

Because the free bus pass and state pension age are interlinked in England, as the state pension age increases so will the age requirement for free bus passes. 

Current estimations show that the state pension could rise to 67 by 2028, with multiple rises imminent in the far off future. 

However, those that are eligible can apply for the free bus pass through the Government website which will connect them to their local councils websites. 


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