Consultation on Free Bus Travel for Older and Disabled People and Modern Apprentices
The Scottish Government has launched a consultation to seek the public's views on the concessionary travel scheme for older and disabled people (“the Scheme”).
Outlining the briefing on their webpage it states:-
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, 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
Prior to the launch of the consultation and over the past several months, the Scottish Pensioners' Forum have been in talks with Transport Scotland and Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, to discuss the many benefits the scheme has for older people and how maintaining the status quo is beneficial to all older people.
We will be holding a further meeting with the Transport Minister on 2nd November 2017 at the Scottish Parliament where we will be discussing the issues raised at our latest meeting with Transport Scotland which took place on 25th October 2017
Despite assurances that there will be no changes to those already in receipt of their entitlement card, the SPF feel that it is necessary to safeguard the many benefits associated with the concessionary travel scheme for future generations and have launched a campaign to highlight this
For more information, a copy of the consultation document can be downloaded by clicking this link