Changes took place to the Travel Concession Authorities administration and funding arrangements from 1st April 2014. The current travel concessions under the scheme which affect Blackpool Transport are as follows:
Holders of valid English National Concessionary Travel scheme passes can travel free of charge on journeys on Blackpool Transport local bus services which operate between 0930 and 2300 Mondays to Fridays and at anytime on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays. Holders of NoWcard English National Concessionary Travel Scheme passes issued to disabled pass holders by Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen or Blackpool Councils can travel at a 50p flat fare on journeys on Blackpool Transport local bus services which commence before 0930 Mondays to Fridays.
Visitors should also note that we scan the computer chip in each ENCTS card, which must be handed to the driver or conductor to qualify for free travel – the ticket machine will check the pass is valid and you will then be issued with a zero fare ticket. You must keep this proof of purchase throughout your journey, and our inspectors may wish to examine both pass and ticket during the journey. We issue free tickets to satisfy the funding rules for free travel - as you can imagine, with so many visitors from so many places claiming free travel, Blackpool’s ticketing and reimbursement system is very complex behind the scenes.
From Friday 1st April both Blackpool Concessionary Travel Pass holders and Wyre Concessionary Travel Pass holders will be able to travel free of charge on the Blackpool Tramway from 0930 and 2300 Mondays to Fridays and anytime on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Please see some Frequently Asked Questions below:
1. Can all Wyre Now Card holders use their Now Cards on the Blackpool Tramway?
Yes, this is now possible from April 1st 2016.
Restrictions apply. Please see section 7.
2. Can Fylde NoW Card holders have free travel on the Tramway?
No, the free travel applies to Wyre and Blackpool residents only.
3. I am a Fylde NoW Card holder and want to complain that I cannot use my NoW Card on the Tramway.
Lancashire County Council subsidises concessionary travel for people who live outside Blackpool. They can be contacted as follows:
PO Box 78, County Hall, Fishergate, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 8XJ
Telephone 0300 1236701
4. How will Blackpool Transport staff know that I am a Wyre NoW Card holder?
The Conductor ticket machines will be changed with effect from 1st April 2016 to recognise NoW Cards that belong to Wyre residents.
5. What will happen if a Conductors ticket machine cannot read my NoW Card?
Customers must have a NoW Card that the ticket machine can read to obtain their concessionary travel. If the card cannot be read then the concessionaire will be charged the full adult fare.
6. The tramway is very busy at times. Is there an alternative I can use?
The Blackpool Transport Service 1 bus runs parallel to the tramway, Northbound from Starrgate to Fleetwood and southbound from Fleetwood to Starrgate. The NoW Card Concessionary Scheme is recognised on any bus service in England.
The Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackpool Council Joint Concessionary Travel Scheme administered by Lancashire County Council is very specific in its wording. The relevant paragraph reads as follows:
“The mandatory bus concession for older and disabled people provides free travel on local bus services which operate between 09.30 and 23.00 Mondays to Fridays. There is no time restriction on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays”.
7. The scheme also contains the following discretionary elements:
• Disabled NoW Card pass holders from within the scheme area, can travel at a 50p flat fare on journeys on bus services before 09.30, funded by Lancashire County Council.
• Holders of Blackpool and Wyre NoW Card passes will be required to pay the full fare before 09:30, and free of charge between 09.30 and 23.00 Mondays to Fridays and all day on Saturdays and Sundays and Bank Holidays on Tramcar services in Blackpool and Wyre (except heritage services, special tours and excursions,).”
• Wyre Concessionary Travel passes are not valid on trams after 1800 (6pm) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings during the illuminations and every night during the October half term (29th October – 6th November).
Passes can be used on all bus services.
Some local authorities issue passes for carers who are accompanying passengers with pronounced disabilities. These are only valid in the area of the issuing authority and are not national passes. Currently Lancashire does not issue carer’s passes and therefore we are sorry but no carer’s passes are valid on our buses or trams in any circumstances. This is not a transport operator policy but has been decided by the fundholders. Lancashire is currently working with bus operators to develop a manageable companion pass scheme. Please do not be offended if the driver or conductor refuses to give free travel to someone producing a carer’s pass as it is simply not valid in this part of England yet.