Customer Information – Coronavirus COVID-19 | Concessionary Bus Pass Holders

19th March 2020
Category: General News

Concessionary Bus Pass Holders

As several supermarkets are opening their doors earlier for elderly and high-risk people, Essex County Council has announced that it has extended the hours of operation of the Essex concessionary bus pass scheme so that pass holders can travel for free outside before 09:00 Monday to Friday.

Ipswich Buses has decided to follow the stance made by Essex County Council and from Friday 20th March 2020 will be allowing all concessionary pass holders to travel before the usual times (09:00 in Essex or 09:30 in Suffolk and Ipswich Borough) on all of our bus services until further notice. This will apply to all bus services we operate across Ipswich, Suffolk & Essex so that the elderly and high-risk people can access supermarket earlier opening hours.

Buses do tend to be busier at this time of day, so please do be aware that you may come into contact with more people if using the bus during this time, so you may still prefer to travel later. Please share this information with people who you think may find it useful, for example elderly neighbours who are not currently self-isolating.

Should We Be Encouraging The Elderly & Vulnerable To Travel?

Stephen Bryce, General Manager of Ipswich Buses said “It has been suggested that by opening peak period travel to concessionary pass holders we will be encouraging them to travel at times when higher volumes of the general population are travelling and that they would therefore face an increased health risk”

“Although this could be the case our company has a social responsibility to support the communities we serve and reduce isolation. Not everybody is lucky enough to have friends or family to help with their shopping and due to the high demand on everyday items by the time concessionary bus holders can reach the shops basics such as bread and milk can already be sold out. By allowing concessionary pass holders to use their passes before 09:30 gives them peace of mind that they can access supermarket earlier opening
hours and be able to purchase the food and other items they need. There will also be less workers and school children using the buses at these times, so the overall risk is reduced, and we would like to remind all customers, colleagues and the general public of the information provided by central government and Public England”.

What Can You Do?

We are urging all customers and colleagues to continue following Public Health England’s advice related to coronavirus, which is available at and follow this advice:

  • Before and after travelling, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available. Find information about how to wash your hands effectively on the NHS website.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough and sneeze.
  • If you have a high temperature or a new, continuous cough, stay at home and do not travel.
  • If you normally pay with cash, switch to using contactless payment or download our free mobile phone APP to purchase bus tickets on your mobile phone.


Customer Helpline 0800 919 390


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