A Companion Card lets you take someone with you free of charge when you travel on buses in Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Northumberland and Darlington.
What is Companion Card?
A Companion Card lets you take someone with you free of charge when you travel on buses in Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Northumberland and Darlington. It’s available to residents of Tyne and Wear who receive certain allowances and are not able to travel without a companion.
So if you need to take a companion with you in order to be able to use buses, and they normally have to buy a ticket, they no longer need to – as long as they are travelling with you, and you have your Companion Card with you. If you have a Metro Gold Card, your Companion Card will be valid on Metro too.
See the table below for full details of fares on other types of local transport.
Will I qualify for a Companion Card?
You will automatically qualify for the scheme if you receive either of the following:
- higher rate care component of the Disability Living Allowance
- high rate Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) (The decision letter must show that you have scored a minimum of 8 points in either the Communicating Verbally or Planning or Following a Journey sections.)
You should only apply for a Companion Card if you would not be able to travel by public transport without a companion. A companion is someone who offers you significant assistance throughout the journey - this means help in boarding, moving around and getting off a vehicle. This card is not for people who can travel alone, but who need a carer in other aspects of their life. You will not be allowed to travel on local public transport using a Companion Card if you do not have a companion to accompany you throughout your entire journey.
You will also need to already have a Concessionary Travel Pass. Nexus reserves the right to withdraw the card if it suspects there is abuse of this concession.
If your circumstances should change at any time eg you have mobility/disability issues but are able to travel independently, you must contact Nexus Customer Services team who will exchange your Companion Card for a Disabled Pass.
How to apply
You’ll need to complete a Companion Card application form. Request one by calling 0191 20 20 747, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to:
Companion Card Applications, Nexus, Nexus House, St James Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX.
Or you can pick one up from a Nexus TravelShop – just ask for a Companion Card application form.
What happens next?
Return your application to:Customer Services, Nexus, Nexus House, St James Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX. We will assess your application and if it has been successful, we’ll be in touch with you to arrange the exchange of your current pass for a Companion Card.
Your Companion Card replaces your current Concessionary Travel Pass (it looks the same, but has a ‘C+’ in the corner).
How will I use my Companion Card?
|If you're travelling on||You pay||Your Companion pays|
|Local buses in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, County Durham and Darlington||FREE||FREE|
|Metro* with a Metro Gold Card||FREE||FREE|
|Metro* without a Metro Gold Card||Adult fare||Adult fare|
|Northern Rail services between Newcastle and Metrocentre/Blaydon||50p||50p|
*or Northern Rail services between Newcastle and Sunderland or the Shields Ferry.
Please note that your Companion Card is valid for use at the same times as your Concessionary Travel Pass – ie after 9.30am on weekdays and all day at weekends and public holidays (or all day at all times if you have an All Day CT Pass). Please note that all day passes are not valid before 9.30am on weekdays if the journey starts outside Tyne and Wear.
Conditions of the Companion Card scheme
1. Companion Cards are available for Tyne and Wear residents who receive the higher rate care component of the Disability Living Allowance, high rate Attendance Allowance and/or Personal Independence Payment (at least 8 points in Communicating Verbally or Planning or Following a Journey) who would only be able to use local public transport with the assistance of a companion.
2. You must have qualified for and received a Concessionary Travel Pass to be able to apply for a Companion Card.
3. The companion travelling with a cardholder will be able to travel free of charge on local buses in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, County Durham and Darlington at the times at which concessionary travel is available (after 9.30am Monday to Friday and all day on weekends and public holidays).
4. A companion will also be able to travel free of charge on the Metro if you have a Metro Gold Card.
5. A companion is someone who offers you significant assistance throughout your journey. This includes help in boarding, moving around and getting off a vehicle. This card is not for people who can travel alone, but need a carer in other aspects of their life.
6. Nexus reserve the right to withdraw the card where it suspects there is abuse of this concession.