Skip To Navigation Skip To Content
Colour mode:
Home > News > Freedom Pass Latest News
This article is old and may be out of date

Freedom Pass Latest News

Transport for All

In early 2010, all Freedom Pass users will...

In early 2010, all Freedom Pass users will need to apply for a new-style pass because the current passes will stop working on 31 March 2010.

The latest news recieved today from London Councils:

We are pleased to announce the venue for the media launch of the 2010 reissue which will be held on The Deck, a stunning rooftop venue at the National Theatre overlooking the Thames. The launch event will be in the morning of Tuesday 12 January 2010. Invitations will be sent out in due course and, of course, borough contacts will be amongst those invited.

A publicity toolkit will be issued to boroughs next week. This will include the artwork files for the campaign posters, a template press release that you can amend for your own use, and guidance on what makes an acceptable photograph for the new card. The primary contact for this is 7934 9754). Colleagues should be aware that discussions are also taking place with your borough communications departments and it is important that you contact them to discuss the current situation to prevent any misunderstanding.

The TEC Executive committee saw an illustration of the poster campaign design and was happy with the proposed concept.

Find a celebrity
We are still searching for a celebrity as befits the occasion and help us gain some good media coverage for the reissue. We will let you know more when we have a star (start digging out those autograph books now!).

A-Z dates
Attendance (A-Z) dates have now been set and agreed with the Post Office. A poster is being prepared for boroughs and we hope the Post Office will also be able to display this information prominently. The dates are are:
A-E 4-16 Jan 2010
F-J 18-23 Jan
K-O 25-30 Jan
P- Z 1-6 February
Anyone who missed their week 8-13 February

We then begin the process of contacting those who have not renewed:
* 8 -13 Feb – London Councils identifies those who have not renewed and sends data to mailing house
* 14-21 Feb – mailing house prepares the data and reminder letters
* 22 – 24 Feb – reminder letters are delivered

Passes and wallets
We are pleased to say that the wallet designs have now been agreed for all 33 boroughs and will shortly be produced in numbers based upon previous issues. We have also seen the material that will be used by the manufacturer. This has been subject to intense scrutiny because of concerns that the wrong material could damage the pass.
The back of the pass has also been changed and will be in monochrome subject to approval.

Call centre
We are looking at enhancing our call handling for the reissue period and discussions are taking place with contractors with the intention of providing answers to frequently asked questions relating to the reissue and the scheme.

Photographs – part 1
The provision of photographs for 2010 has raised a number of questions and this is an opportunity to clarify what will happen.
Firstly we should clarify that discussions are ongoing with the photo booth company Photo-Me regarding possible sponsorship opportunities. No decision has yet been made on whether they will be involved in the campaign. We should have more news about this in the next couple of weeks.
Photographs – part 2
We have received a query regarding the need for the photo to be front facing, full face and why it is necessary to use the driving licence standard. The need for the photo to be front facing and full face is set out in the guidance provided by the DfT and was the basis for the reissue of passes in 2008 by all the other English authorities. We have said that a shorthand way of describing the photograph requirements is that it should be the equivalent of a colour photograph acceptable for a driving licence application (the requirements are much less onerous than for a passport).

Any photograph that is not full face is likely to encounter problems when presented for use. Firstly, if the picture is not clearly identifiable as the person carrying it they may be refused carriage and could have their pass withdrawn (particularly on non TfL services). Secondly, there would be serious potential for fraudulent use of the pass by a third party which could in turn lead to serious consequences for not just the person misusing the pass but also the person it was issued to originally. Boroughs must therefore put in place a procedure for dealing with customers for whom a full face picture is a difficulty.

We asked the DfT if they have any further guidance on this and they said they has received no queries relating to this matter since this process began in 2008.

Letter of Authorisation – LoA
It is important that the LoA are not issued too early because if they are presented to the Post Office before January 2010 they will not be accepted because the 2010 reissue system will not switch on until 1 January. We recommend that they are posted in the last week of December 2009. This minimises the likelihood they will be lost by the client or presented too early.

We are considering whether to set up a postal clearing house to support boroughs, so that the letters can be stockpiled and then dispatched at the right time. This means LoAs (in addressed envelopes) can be produced over the next four months and are stored and issued from a central mail out provider. We are exploring this and will try and provide more details shortly.

2010 card management system
It is probably time to give you an update on the back office which supports the card issue process and ongoing card management. Stormey Devine has put together a short note on the CMS (card management system)

In 2010 the Freedom Pass will have a standardised/web based Card Management System (CMS) for all of London. It will link directly with the Post Office and Own Application Boroughs. It will be more than just a database of pass holder details. It will be a complete card management tool. It will control the process from point of application to card distribution and beyond.

The CMS will be an integral part of the 2010 re-issue. It will make the whole process possible. Unlike other years, pass holders will not receive a pass on the spot. Therefore the transfer/monitoring/cleanliness of data is essential. The CMS will enable London Councils and Boroughs to know exactly where an application is at any point in time.

Added benefits will be the timely access to data and ability to produce vital reports (i.e. Apportionment), with the click of a button. Pass holders will no longer need to queue to get a replacement pass, and all hotlisting will automatically link to TfL and ITSO service limited.

If you would like any more details regarding the CMS please contact Stormey Devine (

Two million barcodes are being produced. They will consist of two peel off parts; the barcode and the barcode number. The barcode goes on the application form and the number on the back of the photo. The barcode is simply a transaction number that allows us to track an application. The customer will be given a receipt at the conclusion of the application with the number on it. Fujitsu are creating a tracking system that will hopefully then allow the customer to see via the web or through a telephone enquiry at what stage of production their pass is.

Update on the card technology
TfL have assured us that their programme to update the Oyster estate (card gates and readers) is progressing so that they can all read our new Desfire cards will be completed by the end of November.

And on the production of cards we have received the first batch of 60k which are being prepared for encoding and addition of the hologram by Fujitsu.

To see this newsletter in full on the London Councils website, please click here

A man standing in front of a painted brick wall smiling at the camera. He is holding a cane and is wearing glasses, a black jacket and a grey t-shirt. A man standing in front of a painted brick wall smiling at the camera. He is holding a cane and is wearing glasses, a black jacket and a grey t-shirt.

Support us

We can't do this without your support. Take action, give what you can, or sign up as a member - and join our movement of disabled people fighting for a better future.