Ministerial Foreword From Minister For Transport And The Islands, Humza Yousaf MSP
The Scottish Government is launching this Consultation to seek your views on the concessionary travel scheme for older and disabled people (“the Scheme”).
This popular and valued scheme improves access for older and disabled people to essential services and opens up participation in family and other social activities that would otherwise not be affordable, ultimately offering independence to people who rely on bus travel.
Over 1.3 million bus pass holders benefit from the Scotland-wide free bus travel scheme for older and disabled people. They make around 145 million bus journeys each year representing around a third of all bus journeys made in Scotland. Free bus travel is delivering one of the Scottish Government’s key commitments, one we believe brings important benefits for all our eligible older and disabled people.
We are committed to continuing to provide free bus travel for those who need it the most, and therefore want to look at options to ensure the longer-term sustainability of the scheme so that free bus travel can continue to benefit those who have the greatest need.
We are also aware of the particular challenges facing younger people and will be asking for your views on our proposal to provide free bus travel to Modern Apprentices and how that might be taken forward. We will also be looking to provide free companion travel for eligible disabled children under five who are not currently covered by the Scheme.
Whatever happens going forward let me make one thing clear and give you this absolute assurance, if you already have a bus pass, or obtain one before any changes are made, you will not lose it! Those with a bus pass will continue to access the benefits of the Scheme. In addition we will not be making any adverse changes to the existing eligibility criteria for those with a disability.
I look forward to receiving your views on our proposals.
Minister for Transport and the Islands