Consultation starts on free bus travel for under 19s

The Scottish Government said on Monday it has launched a consultation on new proposals to offer free bus travel for young people resident in Scotland aged under 19.

“Over a third of people already benefit from free bus travel in Scotland,” said the Scottish Government.

“The proposed extension of free bus travel to approximately 770,000 young people will deliver on the budget agreement, as reaffirmed in the recent Programme for Government.

“At the same time the proposals help realise the vision proposed through the National Transport Strategy – contributing to a transport system with reduced inequalities and one that advances equality of opportunity.”

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “With approximately 770,000 young people anticipated to benefit – these are hugely exciting proposals for the future of our bus sector and for inspiring future generations to engage with sustainable transport.

“Free bus travel will help young people under the age of 19 to access education, employment and leisure – particularly those from lower income families.

“What we are proposing will help our young people as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst supporting the vision outlined in our National Transport Strategy for a fairer and more sustainable transport system – reducing inequalities, tackling poverty and promoting opportunity.

“I’m confident that it will support the independence of young people and encourage a greater, long term shift to more sustainable travel – largely by embedding the use of public transport in people’s behaviour from an early age.

“To respond to the climate emergency, we need a shift away from private vehicle use towards more sustainable public transport.

“I’m confident this step could also help encourage modal shift in how young people get around – improving air quality in our towns and cities by reducing the number of car journeys made either by them or their family, friends, or carers.”

The consultation closes on Monday December 7.

Access to the consultation is available online here: https://consult.gov.scot/transport-scotland/consultation-free-bus-travel-for-people-under19

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.