A GRACE period has been agreed to help bus pass holders who have not yet applied or received their new travel cards.

Transport for Wales is replacing the passes for the over 60s and disabled people which expire at the end of December.

The new-style Concessionary Travel Cards are currently being introduced amid Wales’ largest bus pass renewal programme.

However, some people have still yet to apply and others have still not received their new passes.

Transport Wales, working with bus operators, has agreed to a temporary period in the New Year when bus users will still be able to use old or new cards.

Chief Executive of Transport for Wales James Price said “We’d like to thank everyone who has applied for their new bus card so far.

"Since September we’ve received over 550,000 applications, which includes 25,000 paper applications and there’s been a significant operation behind the scenes to process all the applications as quickly as possible.

"However, there may be people who haven’t applied yet or customers who are still waiting for their new cards to arrive.

"As a result, we are implementing a grace period in the new year and have worked with bus operators to agree a period of two months.

"During this time bus drivers should accept both old and new-style cards for travel.

"It’s important to stress that this period will be temporary and is not an extension of the deadline."

Those who wish to continue receiving the travel benefits into 2020 will need to reapply for their new card by January 31. This will allow time for the issue of new cards before February 29.

The Minister of Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, said “The renewal programme has been a huge undertaking.

"I have been impressed with how Transport for Wales has worked with local authorities and partner organisations.

"Many people eligible for a bus pass are amongst the most vulnerable in our communities.

“While the majority of applications are in, the expiry date is fast approaching and we have agreed an official grace period.

"This temporary extension will give more time to those who need it, and help alleviate concern for people who haven’t received their new card.”

Transport for Wales will continue to focus on making sure everyone who has applied receives their card as quickly as possible, and those who rely on their bus passes are aware of the changes and know how to apply and how to access support.

To apply online see www.tfw.wales/travelcards.

Paper applications are available from local councils or by calling 0300 303 4240.