Free bus travel for under-22s welcomed

Local MSP Christine Grahame has welcomed news that all residents in Scotland under the age of 22 will be eligible for free bus travel from January 31, 2022.

Christine Grahame MSP
Christine Grahame MSP

The Scottish Government confirmed the timetable for the roll-out of the scheme, delivered in partnership with the Improvement Service, the National Entitlement Card Programme Office and Young Scot.

Legislative changes to allow the scheme to be extended from its original commitment to provide free travel for under-19s will be introduced to the Scottish Parliament this summer, following a public consultation on the measures.

It’s estimated that approximately 930,000 young people will join the third of Scotland’s population who already benefit from free bus travel through the Older and Disabled Persons Free Bus scheme.

Ms Grahame said: “We know that young people have been disproportionately impacted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, so it’s never been more important that we support them to achieve their fullest potential.

“Reducing barriers created by transport costs is one way of helping access to things like education and work opportunities that many would previously not have had the financial means to take part in. It’s also a helpful way of embedding more sustainable travel behaviour from a young age, which is vital if we are to achieve our goal of reducing the distances travelled by car by 20% by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2045.

“This scheme will make a real difference to the lives of many young people and help make sure they have the best possible start in life.”