Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my contactless card rejected, when I have money in my account?

Contactless is a convenient way to pay by simply tapping your card.

To ensure a contactless card is being used by the authorised card owner, there is a banking system security feature which will occasionally require you to enter the PIN. This confirms that the card is in the right hands.

When we specified and introduced our contactless system, we - and other transport operators across the UK - were assured by the card issuers that this PIN would not be asked for on public transport.

Frustratingly, some banks have not implemented the public transport contactless specification properly and this means that contactless cards can be rejected on bus, train and tram readers because the PIN is required.

The banks and card issuers are working on resolving this issue, but in the meantime, if your contactless card is rejected you will have to use an alternative method of payment, such as the NCTX Buses app.

Our drivers and NCT are not informed why the card has been rejected, but we have found that when there are sufficient funds in an account, this PIN issue is the most common cause. Visiting a cash machine or using the PIN to pay in another setting, such as a shop, cafe etc. usually resolves the issue.

Thanks for your understanding.

Can Dogs Travel on the Bus?

Yes, provided your pooch is well behaved, on a lead or in a carry box. Dogs must never travel on the seats. Dogs can travel all day for £1 using a Dog Rover ticket. 

Trained assistance dogs are carried free of charge on every bus. We’ve identified (with thanks to customers) the most appropriate seats on buses where customers with assistance dogs can sit and they will be labelled to encourage other customers to give them up for you.

Who Do I Contact About a Concessionary Bus Pass?

If you have any query about the issue or use of your concessionary bus pass, of if you've lost it, you need to contact your local council. If you live on our network, this will most likely be Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council or Leicestershire County Council.

Can I Bring a Bike on the Bus?

Folding bikes, small children's bikes or a scooter can be carried, provided it fits in the luggage rack. However, our buses are not insured or designed to carry larger bikes.

Can I Bring an E-Scooter on the Bus?

Sorry, we do not carry e-scooters. If it's a scooter you've hired, park it safely in the marked bay nearest the bus stop and you're welcome to travel without it.

How Can A Bus Be Full, But Have Empty Seats?

There is a legal maximum number of people a bus can carry.

This maximum number is determined by weight (to comply with the regulations on how heavy a full bus can be), rather than the actual space available inside a bus. This means that big buses, like our older double decks, can have very few standing customers even though there is quite a lot of room.

This maximum number of people is broken down into seated and standing. The figure quoted for standing assumes every seat is taken. However, there is no legal requirement or expectation for customers to use the seats and sometimes people choose to stand instead.

For example…

  • A double deck can carry a maximum of 88 people, where there are 86 seats and 2 standees
  • If 86 people take a seat, the bus can have 2 standees and reaches the maximum of 88
  • If 82 people take a seat, the bus can have 6 standees and reaches the maximum of 88

Therefore, if there are several standees (which appears to be over the maximum number shown), a bus can be full even though some of the seats aren’t being used because the bus is carrying the maximum of 88 people.

What Happens If I Witness or Experience Crime on the Bus?

Thankfully this type of behaviour is very rare and there has been a significant drop in incidents on buses over the last decade thanks to CCTV on every bus and an excellent partnership we have with Nottinghamshire Police.

If you experience or witness any crime on the bus, please alert the driver in the first instance and then report the matter to the Police.

When drivers are aware of any incidents, they will contact our Control Room to request assistance from the Police and/or an Inspector on the bus. Through our partnership, we share CCTV footage and work very closely with Nottinghamshire Police to ensure the small number of people who commit crime on buses are dealt with.

In 2017, we joined other operators and organisations in Nottingham to sign the "No to Hate" Pledge and all of our drivers have been trained on how to assist people in the event of a hate crime.

Why Is it So Hot on the Bus in the Summer and Why No Air-Con?

The simple answer is because it’s hot outside and like in your home, you feel the heat when you’re inside too. Unlike your home (but maybe like your greenhouse if you’re a gardener), our buses have a large number of windows in a confined area, which results in them heating up quickly. We specify ‘forced air ventilation’ on our buses to keep fresh ambient air moving through the bus, which prevents the air becoming too close and stagnant. This works in the same way as a fan in your home or office and keeps the air moving. However, if the ambient temperature is 30°C then that will be the temperature of the air being circulated.  This may feel to a customer that the air is being heated but it isn’t (other than by the sun!). 

We specify the maximum number of opening windows possible. This is largely driven by bus window glass being manufactured in standard sizes and buses have to have some non-standard sized windows as dictated by the length and structure of the bus (which is heavily legislated).

Air conditioning isn't a feature we have previously specified on buses pre 2024 for environmental and economic reasons. Just as in a car, air conditioning takes a substantial amount of energy out of the engine. The power needed to provide air conditioning in the customer area of the big buses we use would be so great that a larger engine would be required and bigger wheels to cope with the extra weight. This would consume more fuel, generate more emissions (Nottingham has been criticised for high emissions) and also reduce the number of seats for customers on the bus. As our British summers are only for a few weeks a year (if we’re lucky!) it is neither economically or environmentally viable to upgrade our fleet in this way. 

Our electric single deck buses from 2024 are fitted with air conditioning, which is now a feature that we can provide as the same system which is needed to heat the buses in the winter can also be used to cool them in the summer.

Why Are the Windows Locked on Your New Electric Buses?

To maximise the efficiency of the heating and cooling system on the bus, the windows on our electric buses are being locked closed at the garage. This isn't a decision by the driver or something they can over-ride as they are not provided with a key. 

One of the reasons air conditioning hasn't been provided on city-type buses previously is the loss of the cooling through open windows, which places greater pressure on the cooling systems and power of the bus, requiring more power or fuel to be consumed.

The air conditioning on our electric buses is drawing in fresh air from the outside, which is the same fresh air that would enter the bus through an open window. The difference is the air is cooled, which benefits customers who would otherwise have the same temperature of air during hot periods. Additionally, fresh air enters the bus when the doors are opened at stops, ensuring there is a regular flow of fresh air through the bus at all times.