A new report that reveals that high transport costs are stopping young people in rural areas from accessing education and employment highlights the need for proper regulation of bus services according to South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, Connectivity and Transport Colin’s Smyth.
The local MSP was responding to the report by Scottish Rural Action which revealed that 48% of young people have been prevented from going to work because travel is too expensive, over 20% of young people’s income is spent on travel to work and almost 30% of young people have been stopped from accessing education or training because travel is too costly.
Colin Smyth recently exposed the “great train robbery” in our area which showed local passengers paying sky high prices for monthly rail tickets and has led calls for the re-regulation of bus services including setting minimum levels of concessionary travel for young people that all bus companies running local services would have to deliver.
Commenting on the report Colin Smyth said , “This report is a wake up call to the SNP Government that action is needed to tackle the fact that bus and rail fares have spiralled out of control on this government’s watch."
"It is a scandal that young people in our area are being prevented from pursuing education and job opportunities while private rail and bus firms are raking in the profits."
"Instead of trying to axe the bus pass for some older people, the Government should be pursuing ways to extend it to young people."
“Labour will be fighting tooth and nail to ensure that measures are included in the forthcoming Scottish Government Transport Bill to end the current postcode lottery in concessionary bus travel for young people."
"Proper re-regulation proposed by Labour would mean that bus companies would have to deliver a minimum level of concessionary travel for young people as part of any franchise service."
The report is available here: https://www.sra.scot/fareenough-2/