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Concessionary Fares Scheme Changes For Caithness, Lochaber and Skye

17th January 2009

Holders of National Entitlement Cards in Caithness as well as Lochaber and Skye, who are eligible for free travel, will need to alter the way in which they confirm their entitlement as the result of the introduction of new electronic ticket machines in these areas.

Transport Scotland has provided Stagecoach Bluebird and Stagecoach Highland with new machines as part of the concessionary fares scheme. These will become operational in Caithness on Sunday 18 January 2009 and in Skye and Lochaber on Sunday 25 January 2009.

Until now, the system has been based upon a 'show and go' where the card was presented to the driver so the holder's photograph could be seen and their entitlement confirmed.

Now, the card will need to be removed from any wallet or holder and placed upon the card reader plate in the bus, with the photograph uppermost and it will need to remain there for a few seconds until the ticket has been issued.

There will be instances where a card has been damaged or become non-operational. In these circumstances the cardholder has 3 choices:

1) Retain the card and pay the fare for the journey.

2) Allow the driver to withdraw the card and issue a 7 day temporary pass which will allow free travel. The passenger will be given the tear off part of the return envelope and both this and the 7 day ticket have instructions on how to get a replacement card printed on them.

3) Not to travel at this time and alight from the bus.

In any of these circumstances the cardholder should then report the problem by 'phone or in person to any Service Point where arrangements for a new card to be issued can be made.

Cardholders must not resubmit an application form as the card details are already held on a database and a new card can be issued using these details.

For further information, please contact Stagecoach on 01463 239292 or The Highland Council on 01463 702000.

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