NORTH-EAST MSP Alison McInnes has backed calls for ‘a better bus pass’ in a motion she has tabled at the Scottish Parliament.
In it, she highlights Age Scotland’s ‘Still Waiting’ campaign, which seeks to have the national concessionary travel scheme to be extended to cover local community transport in addition to the main bus routes it can currently be used on.
Mrs McInnes said: “So many people in Scotland - and particularly in rural areas like Angus - rely on public transport to get around. But in some areas the only options available are small, community transport schemes like dial-a-ride. They do a great job, but at the moment they aren’t included in the concessionary travel scheme.
“This means that the older or disabled people who rely on them are left out of pocket because of where they live. If there was a regular bus service, they would be able to use their bus passes, rather than having to pay out every time they want to travel into town.
“I agree with Age Scotland that this just isn’t fair. The free bus pass should cover community schemes as well - letting those who run them claim their costs back from the Government, and helping people who use them to get the full benefit of their bus pass.
“I’m asking for more support for the campaign from my fellow MSPs, and I hope that we can convince the Government to take another look at how the bus pass works. Too many people - especially outside the city - are still waiting for a bus pass they can use. Everybody, no matter where they live, should be able to use their bus pass to get around.”