The introduction of free fares for all under 22s in Scotland was announced earlier today in a move that means approximately 930,000 more people will be allowed to travel for free on buses north of the border. It could cause a huge amount of controversy as it comes at a time when free bus passes for some pensioners are in jeopardy.
In England, young people have to pay for travel although they get a reduced fare.
Most people only receive a free bus pass when they turn 66 – but proposed changes to the state pension mean that they will have to wait even longer.
In the future they will have to wait until they’re 67 or 68, which has caused uproar among the older generation who rely on such freebies to top up their state pension.
Because it is increasingly difficult to comfortably live on the state pension alone, pensioners are reluctant to let go of additional benefits like their free bus pass and free prescriptions.
Ms Sturgeon continued: “COP26 must be a turning point for the world, and action must be taken if we are to ‘keep 1.5 alive’, and Governments across the world must act to support this.
“Adopting more sustainable travel behaviour is vital if we are to reach our world-leading goal of reducing the number of kilometres travelled by car by 20 percent by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2045.”
It’s a huge step for Scotland – previously all under 19s received free bus travel.
Meanwhile, a third of the population already have free bus travel through the Older and Disabled Persons Free Bus scheme.
Meanwhile, Age UK has advised that while pensioners in England may have to wait longer, there are ways they can travel for cheaper.
National Express offers a Senior Coachcard for people who are 60 and above which costs £12.50 and reduces the price of travel by a third.
On its website it states that: “Some local authorities offer concessions that apply to local public transport.
“Contact your local council for more information about what they offer.”