Free bus travel for people seeking asylum
£2 million will be made available in next year’s budget to progress free bus travel for people seeking asylum in Scotland.
It follows an announcement in the 2022-2023 Programme for Government that the Scottish Government would “work with third sector partners and local authorities to consider how best to provide free bus travel to asylum seekers and refugees including displaced people from Ukraine.”
Around a third of people seeking asylum in Scotland are thought to already be eligible for the existing National Concessionary Travel Schemes through age or disability criteria. Work will continue to progress with establishing the most appropriate way to extend this to all people seeking asylum.
Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights Patrick Harvie said:
“Free bus travel has the power to tackle inequality, respond to the climate emergency and improve lives through decisive government action.
“Every day, we hear from people whose lives are literally being transformed by our concessionary travel schemes – from families on low incomes to children and young people who are now able to take up new opportunities.
“So I’m delighted that the Scottish Government will continue to progress work with partners in the third sector and local government to seek to make free bus travel available to people seeking asylum in Scotland.
“I hope that together we can help create new opportunities, protect our climate and reduce financial barriers for the people who need it most, right across the country.”
Decisions on the Government’s spending plans for 2024-25 and future years are subject to the outcome of the Scottish Budget process and associated approval by the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Government intends to present the Draft Budget 2024-25 to Parliament on Tuesday 19 December 2023.