SNP Councillors welcome opening of Scotland’s Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme

Councillors Will Mylet and Kenny MacLaren have welcomed the opening of the application process for free bus travel for young people, under the age of 22 years old.

From today (10th January 2022), all young people and children aged 5-21 years old in Scotland can apply for their new or replacement National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot NEC to access the scheme from 31 January 2022. The scheme, extending free bus travel to everyone aged 22, builds on the Scottish Government’s commitment to providing free bus travel to all under-19’s in Scotland which started in August 2021.

The SNP councillors have welcomed the initiative which is set to benefit around 930,000 young people across Scotland and pointed to research from Transport Scotland indicating that 70% of young people would use public transport more frequently if it was free.

The scheme will be delivered in partnership with Transport Scotland, the Improvement Service, the National Entitlement Card Programme Office (NECPO), Young Scot, local authorities and bus operators.

Commenting Councillor Will Mylet said:

“I am delighted that applications are now open for young people, under the age of 22, to apply for free bus travel across the country. This is a hugely significant commitment from the SNP Scottish Government that will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people across the country.

“Young people are rightly challenging politicians to take bold actions to create a sustainable future for them and free bus travel is an example of what can be done to rise to this challenge. 

“I’ve had meetings with local bus companies to make sure they were aware of the changes and to see how this would impact on their services.  Hopefully additional journeys by younger passengers will make more bus routes sustainable for the longer term.”

Councillor Kenny MacLaren added:

“Travelling by bus is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to move across the country and we know that young people, in particular, value the vital role public transport plays in hitting our climate change targets.  “Making bus travel free for under 22’s is not only important for helping tackle the climate emergency but it will take pressure off young people’s finances and improve their access to education, leisure, and work.

“The SNP Scottish Government is once again making an investment in our young people’s future, supporting them to have the best possible start in life and creating the fairer, greener Scotland that we want to build.”