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The terms and conditions for the 'Wales Free Bus Travel Scheme for refugees' are detailed below.

First published:
9 May 2022
Last updated:

1. Scheme title

The Wales Free Bus Travel for Refugees Scheme, hereafter will be referred to as ‘the scheme’.

2. Scheme brand

The scheme brand for all public communication is the ‘Welcome Ticket’.

3. Description

The scheme provides eligible persons with free unlimited travel on all local bus services provided by participating bus companies across Wales under heading 18, including those that operate into England where your journey starts or finishes in Wales.

The proof of eligibility required to access free bus travel as defined is listed under heading 4 below.

The offer is completely separate to the current pilot scheme in place for Asylum Seekers.

4. Eligibility

The scheme is available for all refugees seeking safe haven in Wales in line with our Nation of Sanctuary vision on production of one of the following:

  • valid passport (Ukrainian refugees only) until processed through the Home Office
  • letter issued by the Home Office / Message from Rt Hon Priti Patel MP
  • Biometric British Residence Permit (BRP) marked that someone is a ‘Refugee’, has ‘HP’ or ‘Humanitarian Protection’
  • anyone else who can present a BRP which does not include those phrases but accompanied by a letter or email which says they have been granted refugee status / Humanitarian protection.

Sample examples of Biometric British Residence Permit (BRP); Vignette and immigration officer clearance stamp example:

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British Residence Permit (BRP)
British Residence Permit (BRP)
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Vignette
Vignette
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Immigration officer clearance stamp example
Immigration officer clearance stamp example

5. Geographical limits

Free bus travel on production of valid proof (4) will be available on local bus services operating wholly within Wales or where the trip originates or terminates in Wales. 

6. Times of operation

There are no restrictions on the time during which free bus travel will be provided on production of valid proof as defined under heading 4 of this document.

7. Types of journey

There are no restrictions on the type of journey purpose for which free bus travel is provided.

8. Ticket discount and restrictions

There are no restrictions.

9. Transferability

Free bus travel is for use by the named individual under the terms of eligibility as per heading 4 of this document and is not transferable, but will cover a family unit travelling together including children.

Any refugee children that are accessing primary or secondary education in Wales will still need to apply to the relevant local authority for transport if eligible.

Free bus travel will be withdrawn if misused / used by anyone other than the person(s) eligible and may result in criminal proceedings.

10. Application of discount on bus

The user is required to present their proof of eligibility (heading 4) to the bus driver when boarding a bus to obtain the relevant discount. Persons unable to present proof of eligibility will not be eligible to free travel and will be required to pay the full stated fare.

Bus company representatives retain the right to inspect proof of eligibility as a part of the verification process and reducing fraud.

11. Rules and regulations

Each bus company’s rules and regulations apply when free travel is made on production of proof of eligibility and/or other ticketing.

12. Scheme duration

The scheme will commence on 26 March 2022 and continue initially for a six month period until 30 September 2022 to enable a review to ensure that it continues to provide the intended benefits and that remains affordable and deliverable.

Further information in relation to the scheme will be made following review and in sufficient time before the end of the six month period.

13. Application window

There is no application window as the user will produce the proof of eligibility required to participate in the scheme to the bus driver when boarding the bus for immediate free travel on local bus services in Wales.

14. Card issue

This scheme will not involve the issue of any specific travel cards to the user. Those eligible for free travel will be required to conform to the requirements of eligible proof as listed under heading 4 of this document. Those eligible for free travel will be issued with the ‘Welcome Ticket’ zero value travel ticket from the bus driver when boarding on the bus for the journey being made.

15. Exclusions

Free travel is not valid on long distance coach services provided by National Express and Stagecoach Megabus.

For details about these services including times please use the following contact information:

Proof of eligibility under heading 4 of this document does not entitle or guarantee carriage on any bus service at any time, or give rise to expectation of the continuation of existing services or provision of new services.

Individual operator conditions of carriage also apply for journeys made.

16. Fraudulent use

The scheme is only available to those eligible through the production of valid proof as listed under heading 4 of the scheme’s terms and conditions to the bus driver when boarding the bus. Fraudulent use will result in free transport being withdrawn immediately to the individual(s) in question and will be reported to the relevant authorities and may lead to prosecution.

17. Changes to Terms and Conditions

The Terms and Conditions of this scheme may be subject to change. Any changes will be reflected in updated Terms and Conditions made available.

18. List of participating bus companies

The bus companies that are participating in this voluntary scheme are listed below. This list will increase as further scheme coverage develops and will be updated accordingly.

Operator name

Region in Wales

Newport Bus

South East Wales (Monmouthshire, Newport)

South Wales Transport

South Wales (Neath Port Talbort)

Stagecoach South Wales

South East Wales (Cwmbran, Cardiff, Newport, Powys)

Pembrokeshire Passenger Transport

South West Wales (Pembrokeshire)

Jones Login

South West Wales (Carmarthenshire)

Phil Anslow Coaches

South East Wales (Cwmbran, Monmouthshire)

Arriva Buses Wales

North Wales (across all North Wales counties)

Harris Coaches

South Wales (Blackwood)

Trovol Community Transport

South Wales

Connect2

South East Wales (Caerphilly)

Llew Jones International

North Wales (Conwy, Gwynedd)

Richard Bros

West Wales (Ceredigion)

Henleys Bus Services Ltd

South Wales (Blaenau Gwent)

Mid Wales Travel

Mid Wales (Aberystwyth)

First Cymru

South Wales (Bridgend/Swansea)

M&H Coaches

North Wales (Denbighshire)

Arriva Midlands

North East Wales (Wrexham/Oswestry)

P&O Lloyd

North East Wales (Denbighshire/Flintshire)

Stagecoach

North East Wales (Wrexham)

Townlynx

North East Wales (Denbighshire/Flintshire)

Lloyds Coaches North/Mid Wales (Ceredigion/Gwynedd/Powys)
Cardiff Bus South Wales (Cardiff)
Cwm Taf Valley Coaches South East Wales (Carmarthenshire)
Edwards Bros South East Wales (Carmarthenshire)
Sarah Bell Minibuses South East Wales (Carmarthenshire)
Gwynfor Coaches North West Wales (Anglesey/Gwynedd)
O.R.Jones a'i Feibion North West Wales (Anglesey)
Lewis Y Llan North West Wales (Anglesey)
Dansa Ltd South East Wales (Neath Port Talbot/Swansea)
Goodsir Coaches Daughters & Son North West Wales (Anglesey)
Morris Travel Ltd South East Wales (Carmarthenshire)
Adventure Travel Ltd South Wales (Cardiff)
Owen’s of Oswestry Coaches Ltd Mid Wales (Powys)
S.P. Cars Mid Wales (Powys)
Sargeants Brothers Ltd Mid Wales (Powys)
Tanat Valley Coaches Mid Wales (Powys)
Select Local Bus South Wales (Neath Port Talbot)
Adventure Travel South Wales (Cardiff)
Dilwyn’s Coaches North West Wales (Gwynedd)
Edwards Coach Holidays South Wales (Rhondda Cynon Taf)
Pembrokeshire Voluntary Transport

South West Wales (Pembrokeshire)

Easyway Minibus Hire Ltd South Wales (Vale of Glamorgan)