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Transport / Nearly 4,000 young Shetlanders to benefit from free bus travel

FROM next year 3,800 young people in the Shetland will benefit from free bus travel as part of the Scottish Government’s budget deal announced yesterday (Wednesday).

The new concessionary scheme giving free bus travel to those aged 18 or under was set out in the Scottish budget, which reached an agreement after talks with the Green Party.

According to the National Records of Scotland figures for 2018, 3,800 people aged between 5 and 18 in Shetland could benefit.

Holyrood will introduce the scheme, which is also intended to help cut carbon emissions, in January 2021.

Maree Todd MSP has vowed to speak up for the isles within the SNP group at Holyrood.Highlands and Islands list MSP Maree Todd

Highlands and Islands SNP list MSP Maree Todd said: “Free bus travel will be an enormous benefit to young people in Shetland – keeping money in their pockets and improving their opportunities to work, study and socialise.

“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.

“Encouraging the use of public transport is an essential part of our world-leading efforts to tackle the climate emergency.

“Concessionary travel has brought enormous benefits to those aged over 60 and I’m delighted that it will now be extended to young people.”

The youngsters will join the over-60s in being eligible for free bus travel.