Holyrood budget to support free bus travel for under 18’s

Free bus travel will have an enormous benefit on young people in Aberdeenshire East – keeping money in their pockets and improving their opportunities to work, study and socialise. - Gillian Martin MSP

MSP’s have welcomed the agreed budget deal, which will see over 110,000 young people in the North-east benefit from free bus travel.

The new concessionary scheme was set out in the Scottish Government’s budget, which will give free bus travel to those aged 18 and under.

Latest figures produced by National Records of Scotland estimate there were 13,000 young people aged between 5 and 18 in Aberdeenshire East in 2018 and 12,000 young people from Banffshire and Buchan Coat benefitting.

The Scottish Government will undertake work on design and due diligence with a view to introducing such a scheme in January 2021.

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Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said

Free bus travel will have an enormous benefit on young people in Aberdeenshire East – keeping money in their pockets and improving their opportunities to work, study and socialise.

Alongside the £500 million investment in bus infrastructure previously announced by the Scottish Government, this radical and innovative approach will help deliver a step change in the use of public transport.

Encouraging the use of public transport is an essential part of our world-leading efforts to tackle the climate emergency.

Welcoming the news Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP, Stewart Stevenson, said

This budget is a good deal for the North-east and a good deal for Scotland – I’m delighted it is now set to receive the support of the Scottish Parliament.

Concessionary travel has brought enormous benefits to those aged over 60. It is great news that this will now be extended to young people benefitting around 12,000 young people from my constituency.

In light of the Scottish Government’s willingness to compromise on issues identified by all parties, I hope every party can get behind the budget tomorrow.

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