THE CHAIRMAN of Shetland Islands Council’s environment and transport committee has backed calls for proposed free bus travel for under 19s to be extended to ferries.
Councillor Ryan Thomson said he “fully agrees” with the suggestion, which has been made to the Scottish Government by a group representing communities on the west coast which use CalMac services.
Free bus travel for anyone aged 18 and under was one initiative that stemmed from an agreement made with the Scottish Green Party last week on the Scottish Government’s draft budget for the year ahead.
The CalMac Community Board has written to the government to request the proposed scheme is extended to ferries, saying that for many young islanders a trip by sea is the equivalent of a bus for people on the mainland.
Thomson, who also chairs Shetland’s transport partnership ZetTrans, said extending the initiative to inter-island ferries would “help young Shetlanders and improve their opportunities to work, study and socialise from our remote islands”.
Shetland Islands Council already offers a significant discount for under 19s, with tickets for youngsters – as well as OAPs – priced at £1.10 compared to £5.70 for adults.
A ten-journey multi-ticket can also be bought for £6.40.
“In Shetland, both bus and ferry services are of equal importance to travel around our islands, and many consider the ferry service to be their ‘bus’, it is just an extension of the road,” Thomson said.
“I support Angus Campbell of the Calmac Community Board on this, and both ZetTrans and Shetland Islands Council would welcome the opportunity to contribute to any potential change.”
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 440 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News