Almost 11,500 young people in Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch to benefit from free bus travel

Almost 11,500 young people in Kate Forbes MSP’s Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency will benefit from free bus travel to be introduced by the Scottish Government.

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

The latest figures produced by National Records of Scotland estimate there were 11,452 of people aged between 5 and 18 in Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch in 2018. Across the Highlands and Islands region as a whole, it is thought that 67,299 will benefit.

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

Kate Forbes MSP said: “Free bus travel will be an enormous benefit to young people across my constituency of Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch. 

“I know how expensive it can be for young people to travel across the Highlands and between the central belt and the Highlands.

“The concessionary travel scheme for older people has seen more people using the bus and therefore making more bus services viable.

“Concessionary travel has also brought benefits to passengers themselves as it helps to combat isolation and loneliness. I’m delighted that it will now be extended to young people.

“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.”

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