Bus travel bonus welcomed 

Want to read more?

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?


Problems logging in and require
technical support? Click here
Subscribe Now

Children and young people in Na h-Eileanan are being encouraged to apply for a new or replacement National Entitlement Card (NEC) offering free bus travel to everyone up to the age of 22.

Everyone aged 5 to 21 years with an NEC or Young Scot NEC can access the scheme from January 31.

The scheme, extending free bus travel to everyone aged up to 22, builds on the Scottish Government’s commitment to provide free bus travel to all under 19s in Scotland which started in August 2021.

Isles MP Angus MacNeil and MSP Emma Roddick support the scheme.

Mr MacNeil has welcomed the initiative which will be particularly helpful to island students travelling regularly between their island homes and mainland locations for university and college.

He said: ‘This is a hugely significant commitment from the Scottish Government that will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people.

‘Making bus travel free for under 22s is important for helping tackle the climate emergency and will take pressure off young people’s finances and improve their access to education, leisure and work.

‘Whilst we continue to live through the pandemic, we all recognise essential travel must be prioritised so I want to specifically encourage children and young people with essential journeys to make to apply now.’

The scheme will benefit around 930,000 young people across Scotland with research from Transport Scotland indicating 70 per cent of young people would use public transport more frequently if it was free.

Emma Roddick MSP (SNP) No F52 Emma Roddick MSP
Emma Roddick MSP.

Ms Roddick said: ‘I have always argued that if we are to tackle climate change and make our public spaces accessible to walking, wheeling and cycling, clean, cheap and sustainable public transport must be front and centre.

‘If it is easier for young people to visit our town centres, or travel between home and their places of work and study via public transport, they will be less likely to opt for travel by car and the streets of our towns and cities will come alive as accessible places of work, education and leisure.’

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

Photographs: Isles MP Angus MacNeil. July 14 2021/Angus-Brendan-MacNeil-MP-headshot.jpg

Emma Roddick MSP (SNP). Ecember 15 2021/No F52 Emma Roddick MSP