Nexus has sent more than 100,000 replacement concessionary bus passes to elderly and disabled people in Tyne and Wear whose existing cards expire this spring.
It is now advising people who use a concessionary travel card but have not yet received their replacement, and whose card shows an expiry date between 31 March and 31 May 2018, to get in touch online via www.nexus.org.uk/newct or 0191 20 20 747 during weekday office hours.
Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Nexus, said: “The vast majority of concessionary travel card holders in Tyne and Wear will already have received their replacement card.
“But in a small number of cases, for example where people have moved in the last five years without us knowing, their new card may not have reached them.
“If you have not received a replacement for a card expiring in March, April or May 2018 you should go to www.nexus.org.uk/newct or call Nexus on 0191 20 20 747. Our phone lines will be busy but we have made preparations so that each caller can have their query dealt with as quickly as possible.”
The new English National Concessionary Travel Scheme smart cards have been sent out automatically to anyone who already holds a permanent card on the grounds of age or disability expiring this spring.
People living in Tyne and Wear normally have to apply to renew a card when it expires by filling in a simple form.
Nexus has chosen to automatically renew cards for people who used them at least once in the previous year because of the large number which expire at the same time this spring – a legacy of the launch of the English national scheme 10 years ago this month.
The vast majority received the first ‘smart’ version of the card in 2008 and these are replaced in five-year cycles to reduce fraud and because the microchips inside have a limited lifespan.
Nexus, using funds from local councils, pays transport operators around £38 million a year for cardholders to be carried without charge on buses after 9.30am on weekdays and all day at weekends and bank holidays.
Card holders can also buy a Metro Gold Card for £12 if resident in Tyne and Wear (£24 otherwise) extending the benefit to the Metro system and Shields Ferry.