More than 120,000 pensioners across the West Midlands are being urged to make sure they don’t miss out on getting their new concessionary travel passes. The smartcard pass gives free, off-peak travel on buses, trains and trams across the region and on buses anywhere else in England but are now coming up for renewal.
Centro, the region’s transport authority administers the scheme locally on behalf of the Department for Transport.
The first smart passes, which were issued in 2007, only have a maximum working life of five years and have been expiring at six-monthly intervals in March 2012, August 2012 and March and April 2013.
In the region of 100,000 new passes were sent out to customers whose passes expired in March and letters to people whose passes expire in August 2012 have now been sent out. The letter invites people to renew their pass by either registering their details online or via the post by completing and returning their renewal letter. New passes will be issued during the last 2 weeks of August.
Sarah Jones, Centro’s Head of Customer Services, urged anyone who has changed address since they were issued a pass to contact them.
She said: “These passes can be a real lifeline which is why it is important that anyone who has changed address since receiving one lets us know where they are living now”. “We are also keen to hear from anyone who has a pass that expires on 31 August 2012 who has not yet received their renewal letter. Tell us if that is the case, a simple phone call is all it takes and will ensure that you don’t miss out.”
Pass holders with later expiry dates will be issued letters nearer to the time.
To help people process their applications the Centro exhibition bus will be taking to the road across the West Midlands over the next few weeks.
People who have received their letters can take them to staff on board the bus and complete the application process for a replacement pass there and then.
They take place at the following dates and locations:
Thursday June 28 – 1pm to 6pm, Wolverhampton city centre, adjacent to Queens Building/Bus Station.
Friday June 29 – 9.30am to 3pm, Walsall town centre, adjacent to Poundland, Park Street.
Saturday June 30 – 9am to 3pm, Markets in Edgbaston Street, Birmingham city centre.
Wednesday July 4 – 9.30am to 3pm, Mell Square, Solihull town centre.
Thursday July 5 – 9.30am to 3pm, Broadgate, Coventry city centre.
Friday July 6 – 9.30am to 3pm, Markets in Edgbaston Street, Birmingham city centre.
Saturday July 7 – 10am to 5pm, Wolverhampton Show, West Park, Wolverhampton.
Sunday July 8 – 10am to 6pm, Wolverhampton Show, West Park, Wolverhampton.