RENEWED National Bus Passes will be issued across Devon from next month.

Devon County Council is re-issuing around 175,000 passes direct to registered addresses in the county without residents needing to re-apply, ahead of the deadline of March 31.

The council has been promoting a campaign since March 2012, encouraging residents to contact them if the details for their pass have changed and need updating. This has resulted in around 13,000 people contacting with a change of address or updated photograph when their new passes had already been issued.

The remaining passes due for renewal will be manufactured and posted during a five-week period in February and March. They will be issued by district area, starting in East Devon, which has the most passholders, followed by Teignbridge, Exeter City, North Devon, South Hams, Mid Devon, Torridge and West Devon.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "Devon has more concessionary pass holders than any other county with passes being held by nearly 25% of the population. So there has been an awful lot of work involved in re-issuing so many passes and it has been a lengthy process.

"We have sought to minimise the cost of the renewal by posting the new passes directly to existing holders without the need for them to reapply. This has saved around £125,000 in costs. Every effort is being made to ensure that pass holders in Devon receive their new pass in good time before their current pass expires so that they can uninterrupted concessionary bus travel."

The National Bus Pass now registers electronically on the majority of bus routes in Devon. Anyone whose pass expires on 31 March and attempts to use it after this date will be refused travel, as the pass will be invalid. For more information on Concessionary Travel, please log onto email