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Frequently Asked Questions

Who provides my Bus Services?
Who provides my Train Services?
Who acts on behalf of Passenger Transport Users?
What Fares are available?
How do I find out about Concessionary Travel for the Elderly or Disabled?

What are the 2009 changes to the National Concessionary Fares Scheme?

What are the 2010 changes to the National Concessionary Fares Scheme?

Are there any reduced Train fares for the Elderly or Disabled?
Are there any reduced fares for young persons?

What happens if I leave something on the bus or train?
How do I read a timetable?
How do I get in contact with the Passenger Transport Unit/Intalink?
Can I take my dog on the bus?
How do I find which service I need to catch?
If my child is under five years of age, can they travel free?

How can I find out if my journey might be disrupted by roadworks etc?

How can I find out about installing bus stops?

Who provides my Bus Services?

All of the bus services in Hertfordshire are run by independent commercial companies, many of which are based locally, and some of which are part of larger national operating groups (see Operator contact details).

Bus companies are free to decide how they will run any services which do not require financial support
– this covers the route, the stopping points, the timetable and the fares. They have to register the details of each service with the local Traffic Commissioner and with the County Council. Inevitably, these “commercial” routes do not cover all the needs of bus users in Hertfordshire, particularly those lightly used routes which operate in rural areas, or in the evenings or at weekends. In these cases, the County Council and the District Councils will often step in to provide some financial assistance, and the County Council specifies the service and lets a contract to a local bus company to run it on its behalf.

Who provides my Train Services?

Train services throughout Hertfordshire are operated by train operating companies who have been awarded franchises by the Government. The Government provides substantial financial support for these services.

Transport for London is responsible for the London Underground (Metropolitan Line) service and the Watford-Willesden-Euston London Overground service. Train operating companies regularly consult local authorities on their forthcoming timetable proposals. Major changes may occur in December each year with minor changes in June. All services, particularly at weekends and late at night are subject to alteration to allow Network Rail to undertake essential track maintenance and/or infrastructure work.

Who acts on behalf of Passenger Transport Users?

the County and District Councils in Hertfordshire act on behalf of passenger transport users in the county in their dealings with bus and train operators. We are therefore always pleased to receive your comments or suggestions.

There are also other formal bodies constituted to look after the users’ interests:
Bus Users UK (formerly known as The National Federation of Bus Users) - a national campaigning body with a number of local groups.

London TravelWatch - an official body which represents rail passengers in an area which includes all services in Hertfordshire except those north of Stevenage, as well as all users of London Underground, London Overground and of bus services contracted to Transport for London.

Local Rail User Groups - covering an individual or small group of stations, these groups maintain an effective local liaison with the train operator and a valuable outlet for local concerns. Enquire at your local station for details of the nearest group or check list of Other Operators and Organisations within this guide.

Local Bus User Groups - check list of Other Operators and Organisations within this guide.


Passenger Focus is the independent watchdog for Britain’s rail passengers and bus, coach and tram passengers in England outside of London. Their mission is to get the best deal for passengers.
With a strong emphasis on evidence-based campaigning and research, they ensure that they know what is happening on the ground. They use their knowledge to influence decisions on behalf of passengers and their passenger link team works on the ground with industry, passenger groups and central and local government to secure journey improvements.
They gather research and information, like the National Passenger Survey and the Bus Passenger Satisfaction Survey, where over 54,000 rail and 26,000 bus passengers give them their views about their journeys, so they understand the issues that matter to the public.

They focus on a number of key issues such as punctuality, fares and tickets, quality and level of investment in services. They also help resolve complaints with rail companies and are working to help improve complaint handling in the bus industry.

What fares are available?

You can find out about the cost of your journey by telephoning the bus operator on their customer care number (contact details can be found at the bottom of the relevant timetable). For rail journeys, telephone the National Rail Enquiry Service on 08457 48 49 50 or visit

Some Operators publish fare information on their own websites, particularly for season tickets.

For bus travel, many people buy single tickets, but there are a range of alternatives that will offer a discounted fare:

Return Ticket. Usually cheaper than the equivalent of two single fares. There may be time restrictions and usually the return journey will need to be made on the same operator’s services.

Season Ticket. Useful for more regular travellers. The amount of discount increases with the length of period, making annual tickets the best value for money. Usually available for journeys between two defined points.

Multi-trip Ticket. Ideal for those that do not travel every day. Tickets cover a number of journeys within a given zone or between two defined points.

Day Ticket. Providing unlimited travel for a day on a particular group or network of services. For example, the Intalink Explorer allows unlimited travel on most buses in Hertfordshire.

Tickets can usually be purchased from the driver of the first bus travelled on.

An Advance Purchase Ticket. Recommended when travelling on longer distance or airport express coach services. Tickets sold on board the vehicle on the day of travel are subject to capacity and passengers with reserved tickets are boarded first.

For rail travel the basic principle is that travel after the morning peak period (around 0930) is less expensive. For those travelling to London, the One Day Travelcard can be bought from all Hertfordshire stations and on board some buses. It includes return travel to London by train together with unlimited travel on London’s bus, train, underground and tram network. These tickets are available for peak or off-peak travel. There is a range of Railcards allowing up to a third off ticket prices. Railcards available include:

Network Railcard. Valid after 1000 throughout the South East on most rail companies’ services. The cardholder and up to three adults receive a third off most rail fares. Up to four accompanying children receive a 60% discount. On Monday to Friday (except on Public Holidays), a minimum £10 fare applies to all adult fares.

Young Persons Railcard/Senior Railcard. The Young Persons Railcard is available for anyone aged 16-25 as well as full-time mature students. The Senior Railcard is available for anyone aged 60 or over. Cardholders receive up to a third off most rail travel across Great Britain.

Family Railcard. Offers discounts for family groups travelling together – from one adult and one child, up to four adults and four children – for rail travel throughout Great Britain. Adults receive a 33% discount and children receive an 81% discount.

For longer distance rail journeys it is advisable to contact the National Rail Enquiry Service as competing operators may offer different fares. There are often significant discounts available when tickets are booked in advance, although there will be various time and day restrictions.

PLUSBUS. The PLUSBUS ticket offers a bus add-on to your rail ticket and lets you travel on most buses within the local PLUSBUS area as many times as you like. These tickets can be purchased at any staffed rail station.

How do I find out about Concessionary Travel for the Elderly or Disabled?

The Concessionary Fares National Scheme was implemented in April 2008, which allows elderly persons or eligible disabled people free, off-peak local bus travel anywhere in England. This scheme is administered by Hertfordshire County Council. You should apply to the County Council for your free pass, details can be obtained from

Please note that residents of Hertfordshire are in a great position as the Hertfordshire scheme will allow pass holders to use their passes at all times of the day within Hertfordshire, which is an extra benefit to the governments off-peak only minimum.



First Capital Connect offer a Concessionary Fares Scheme for Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire residents only.

From 01 April 2009 Holders of Concessionary Bus Permits issued by any Local Authority in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire may obtain a 50%  discount on rail fares for travel wholly in Bedfordshire and/or Hertfordshire on the routes shown below. This applies after 10:00 Mondays to Fridays and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.


Discounted travel is valid on First Capital Connect services only, between any pair of stations on the following routes:

On the Thameslink route between Bedford and Elstree & Borehamwood (and intermediate stations)

On the Great Northern route between:
• Sandy / Royston and Hadley Wood (and intermediate stations)
• Sandy / Royston and Crews Hill (and intermediate stations)

Click here for further information and full terms and conditions 



Changes have been made to the regulations covering which services are covered by the scheme. Each authority can have local variations. No changes have been made to the Hertfordshire scheme for 2009/2010.

The services excluded from the national scheme are:
• Services on which the majority of seats can be reserved in advance of travel (such as coaches)
• Services that are intended to run for a period of less than 6 consecutive weeks
• Services operated primarily for the purposes of tourism or because of the historical interest of the vehicle
• Bus Substitution (rail replacement) services
• Services where the fare charged by the operator has a special amenity element

The only practical change in Hertfordshire is for National Express Coaches, which are now totally excluded (previously some sections of their routes, registered as local bus services, were included in the scheme).


What are the 2010 changes to the National Concessionary Fares Scheme?

From 6 April 2010 the age of eligibility for a Concessionary Bus Pass will be changing. In line with the increase of pension age for women, by 2020 the age you will be able to apply for your bus pass will be 65.

The new eligible age for the Concessionary Bus Pass will be introduced in phased stages. For people born between the 6 April 1950 - 5 April 1955 the Government has decided that the date you can get your pass will increase by two months for every month between those 5 years.

A retirement age calculator can be found by clicking here which can also calculate your age of entitlement. in order that it gives the correct date, you must always make sure it is set to the female age, as the male age of retirement is already 65, rather than 60.

Are there any reduced fares for young persons?

Half fare bus travel for students aged 11 to 18
Students aged from 11 to 18 in Hertfordshire qualify for reduced bus fares with a Hertfordshire SaverCard. This entitles the holder to travel for half the normal adult fare, at all times, on local bus services within Hertfordshire and to certain destinations outside. A valid Hertfordshire SaverCard must be held, or full fare will be charged. There is a charge of £20.00 per application, per academic year. This can be renewed every academic year as long as the student still qualifies.


To qualify students need to be aged 11-18, in full time education and resident in the administrative county of Hertfordshire.


You can APPLY ON-LINE or download an application form from It is also available from Hertfordshire schools, colleges, public libraries and bus operators. Alternatively, contact us on 0300 123 4050 and an application form will be sent out to you.

What happens if I leave something on the bus or train?

Most bus and train operators have a system for dealing with lost property. If you have left something behind, contact the operator directly and there is a good chance that you will get it back (contact details can be found at the bottom of the relevant timetable). If you are not sure who to call, ask Hertfordshire County Council (0300 123 4050) for details of the relevant operator.

How do I read a timetable?

  • Use the Network or Town Map to identify the service you require to get from A to B. The example below is a circular journey from Ware Railway Station to Fanham Common, Homefield Road and back again on Service M2.
  • Use the Contents page to locate the relevant timetable.
  • Find your departure point listed in the timetable (A). This will always be above your destination point (B).
  • Read across to select your departure time, then follow the column down to your destination to give you the arrival time (D).
  • Some timetables may have codes which explain variations to the standard timetable or point out interchange facilities (C).
  • Some services do not operate every day. Please make sure you check the service operates on the day you wish to travel (E).
  • The Intalink Explorer ticket allows unlimited travel on most buses in Hertfordshire. The availability of the ticket is included on each service (F).
  • Where services are operated by an Intalink partner, their logo appears on the timetable page (G).
How to read the timetables


How do I get in contact with the Passenger Transport Unit/Intalink?

You can contact the Passenger Transport Unit and Intalink by one of the following ways:

By email:Contact Us
By post:

Transport Access and Safety Unit

Hertfordshire County Council
PO Box 99
SG13 8TJ

By phone:0300 123 4050  (0800-2000 Mondays to Fridays, 0900-1600 Saturdays)

Can I take my dog on the bus?

Accompanied dogs and other small animals that will not be a danger or nuisance to other passengers or staff may be allowed to travel on services at the discretion of the driver or bus operator. To find out whether this applies to the service you wish to use, contact the bus operator directly (contact details can be found at the bottom of the relevant timetable). Guide Dogs will be carried at any time. (The majority of operators will be able to provide you with a ‘Conditions of Carriage’ document on request – you should contact the relevant operator for this directly or visit their website).

How do I find which service I need to catch?

There are a number of ways in which you can obtain this information. You can use the south east traveline journey planner which will provide you with various options for your journey.Alternatively, you can ask for details by contacting the following services:

Traveline: 0871 200 22 33 (0700-2200 daily)

(Calls from BT landlines cost 10p per minute, mobile and other providers’ charges may vary).

National Rail Enquiries: 08457 48 49 50 (24 hours daily)


If my child is under five years of age, can they travel free?

There is no charge for children under five years of age when travelling with another passenger travelling on a valid basis, providing that they do not occupy a seat to the exclusion of an adult passenger and up to a maximum of two children for each passenger. Children over five years of age can normally travel at a reduced rate, subject to local conditions. Children who are unable to provide proof of their age on request from the driver may be required to pay the adult fare.



You can find out about planned diversions and service disruptions (that we have been notified of) which may affect your journey on our Service Disruption page. Information is also added to the relevant service on the traveline website. You can also follow us on Twitter. Also, notices are posted at affected bus stops and information is added to our Display Screens at Bus & Railway Stations, Town Centres etc.


How can I find out about installing bus stops?


It is the County Council's policy to support improvements to public transport to provide a better passenger transport service for local residents.This includes roadside facilities that are as convenient and as evenly-spaced as possible to benefit all bus users, but especially people who have mobility difficulties and those with young children. Additional bus stops are usually required to serve new or revised bus routes or following public requests for a more conveniently-sited stop. Download more information here.




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