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NoWcard FAQ's

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How do I qualify for a NoWcard?

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You qualify for a NoWcard if you are an Older Person or disabled (aged 5 or over) as set out in the national criteria and your sole or principal residence is in Cumbria or Lancashire.


Where do I apply for a NoWcard?

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You can apply for a NoWcard from your County Council or Unitary Authority. Please call the NoWcard Helpline 0300 123 6737 or follow the link for the nearest office accepting applications.


I am going on holiday in England, can I use my NoWcard to travel there for free?

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As long as you are traveling on local bus services and not on express or excursion services such as National Express then you can use your NoWcard English National Concession bus pass anywhere in England. However, your NoWcard is not valid on journeys to or within Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. National Express do offer a concession to the Over 60s please contact them or see their website for details.



Can I use my NoWcard English National Concession bus pass on the Isle of Wight?

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Yes, you can use your NoWcard English National concession bus pass for off peak local bus travel on the Isle of Wight. Your NoWcard is not valid however on the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.


What concession do I receive before 09:30 and after 23:00 with my NoWcard?


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Any additional concessions offered to NoWcard English National Concession bus pass holders above the standard English National Concession are funded by the issuing Local Authority, and are available to their residents only. Please click your issuing authority below for details of any additional concessions that may be offered.



What is a local bus service?

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A local bus service would include any type of town bus service; a rural service which observes all bus stops on the route and inter-urban services observing all bus stops and which may include a limited stop section of route where the distance between stops is within 15 miles (21.4 kms).

Services which observe stops over 15 miles (21.4 kms) apart are regarded as "Express services", for example National Express or Megabus.com services. You will not be able to travel free on these services. Excursion type services which are primarily for end to end journeys, or services which charge a premium fare, may not qualify.

There are some "express" services operating in Cumbria and Lancashire that are registered as local services click here for further details.


Can I use my NoWcard on Preston’s Park & Ride services?

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Yes, you can use your NoWcard on Preston’s Park & Ride, however, you may not be able to use your NoWcard on Park & Ride services in other English towns.


Can I use my NoWcard on trains or the London Underground?

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No, but your NoWcard National Concession bus pass allows you free off peak travel on local bus services throughout England including buses in London.


Can I use my NoWcard on Manchester MetrolinkTrams?


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No, your NoWcard will not be accepted for a concession on Manchester Metrolink.


Where can I find information on bus services and plan my journey?

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For information about bus services please contact Traveline 0871 200 22 33, open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week (calls from land lines cost 10p per minute).


I have a NoWcard but cannot travel on my own; can my carer have a NoWcard to travel with me?

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Carer or companion concessions are not a statutory requirement. Cumbria County Council will offer eligible disabled applicants a companion entitlement. This is a discretionary concession paid for by Cumbria County Council for its residents only and for travel within Cumbria. Companions will be able to travel with the pass holder at the same concession within Cumbria only. The companion element will not be valid throughout the rest of England. For details on eligibility please contact Cumbria County Council.


Who pays for my concession?

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The English National Concession is funded by HM Government with your local district council. Lancashire County Council/NoWcard administers the scheme on behalf of Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool.


What is the difference in concession between a disabled person’s NoWcard and an older person's NoWcard?

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In Cumbria there is no difference in concession between a disabled person's NoWcard and an older person's NoWcard. All residents can travel throughout Cumbria and the rest of England with the NoWcard National Concession bus pass between 9.30am and 11.00pm weekdays and all day Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.


Disabled person's NoWcard issued by Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool allows flat fare concession before 9:30 in journeys that start, end or are wholly within Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen or Blackpool. Please see link for further information.  http://www.nowcard.org/concessionlancs.asp


My child is severely disabled are they entitled to a NoWcard?

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If your child meets the eligibility criteria and is over 5 they will be entitled to a NoWcard National Concession bus pass.


If I lose my NoWcard, can I get a replacement?

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Should you lose your NoWcard please report it as soon as possible to your Local Authority. Please bear in mind there is a non refundable fee for a replacement NoWcard so it would be worthwhile taking the time to check that the card cannot be found before requesting a replacement.

Some lost cards do get returned to the NoWcard office, when this happens if we contact the cardholder by telephone to let them know their card has been found and that it will be returned to them by post. Therefore it is advisable you provide a contact telephone number and let NoWcard know if you change your address.


Do I need to let NoWcard know when I change my address?

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Yes, it is important that the details NoWcard hold for you are correct. For example, if you lost your bus pass and it was found it could be sent back out to you, preventing you from having to pay for a replacement card.


How soon can I apply for an elderly pass?


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The age at which you can apply for a pass has changed, please follow link for details . You can apply up to two weeks before you become eligible, although your pass will only be despatched to you at the earliest a week before you become eligible.


Why does my card have an expiry date on it?

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The Government has set the maximum expiry date of 5 years for National Concession bus passes, replacement passes are issued with the same expiry date as the previous pass unless new photograph and proof of eligibility has been seen. Disabled passes may have an earlier expiry date, as some disabilities are not permanent.


How do I report the death of someone who held a NoWcard?

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Please call the Helpline 0300 123 6737 to report the death of the NoWcard holder. We will then ensure that our records are updated accordingly and ask that the NoWcard pus pass be returned to the Freepost address printed on the back of the card. You can also report a death by using the contact form, please ensure you include the NoWcard serial number and name of the deceased in your correspondence.


My pass expires soon, how do I renew it?

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Older persons can renew online up to 28 days before the pass expires. During busy renewal periods this time period may be extended.


I have changed my address, how do I inform you?

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Use the contact form, please ensure you give your new address and your NoWcard bus pass serial number, we will contact you by email for proof of your new address  in order to update your record.  Please see the link for details of acceptable proofs


The journey on my ticket appears incorrect, what should I do?

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If the journey detailed on your ticket appears incorrect, please keep the ticket and ring the NoWcard helpline 0300 123 6737 with the details. We will investigate the issue with the bus company and will recover any revenue due. Please note that if your ticket shows a stop close to your requested stop, this may be correct (i.e. if it is within the same "fare stage").


If you have any queries not covered in these FAQs or by the website please contact us.