William Eichler 06 January 2016

Half of the UK’s counties enable older persons' bus pass applications online, survey finds

Half of the UK’s counties now enable older persons' bus pass applications online, according to a survey carried out by Better Connected.

Better Connected surveys, organised by Socitm, assess council websites by carrying out 12 tasks, one of which, this time, was ‘Apply for older person’s bus pass’.

The survey found that 48% of councils provide a good or very good online service, with 30% achieving four stars for the task, 19% three stars, 33% two stars and 19% one star.

The top performing councils were Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey.

Two years ago, only 30% of counties offered a complete online bus pass application, compared with 52% today.

Tasks are assessed through a questionnaire that tests whether they are easy to find, whether essential information is available, and whether there is a coherent customer journey from search engine or home page through to completion.

Each council is then awarded a certain amount of stars according to how well they do against the above criteria.

There is also an ‘essential question’ within each question set that must be satisfied before a task can achieve 3 or 4 stars.

Sites that do not perform well on this task, according to Socitm, tend to fail on details of presentation and navigation.

For example, reviewers noted that the term ‘concessionary travel’ was often used to describe the service when ‘bus pass’ is what most people will be looking for.

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