THE SCOTTISH Government is to carry out an islands impact assessment on plans to introduce free bus travel for people aged under 22.
This has been welcomed by Orkney MSP Liam McArthur, but he said there is a need to look at including inter-island ferry fares too for those living in the islands.
Calls were previously made for the government scheme to include ferries, as for many young islanders a trip by sea is the equivalent of a bus for people on the mainland.
Islands minister Paul Wheelhouse said in a parliamentary question that an islands impact assessment will be carried out on the free bus travel scheme.
He added that the government is “considering ferry fares policy options through our ongoing review of concessionary travel arrangements across all modes for under 26 year olds and through the Islands Connectivity Plan”.
In response McArthur said: “It would be reasonable to roll-out the same initiative on ferry travel so that young people in our islands can benefit from the same travel subsidy, and the opportunities it brings, as those living on mainland Scotland.
“I therefore welcome the minister’s willingness to ensure an island impact assessment on the scheme is carried out, which should hopefully identify the need to include ferry travel in the revised concessionary scheme when it finally comes into force.”
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