Free bus travel would help poorest most, says Leonard

Mr Leonard’s proposals would start with a free bus pass for under 25s Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

Richard Leonard has said proposed free bus travel in Scotland would help the country’s poorest people the most.

The Scottish Labour leader reiterated his party’s pledge ahead of a debate on the issue in Holyrood this Wednesday.

Analysis of Transport Scotland statistics suggested 52% of people who have taken a bus journey in the day before being questioned were on an annual income of less than £20,000.

Only 11% earned more than £40,000.

Mr Leonard hailed the introduction of free bus travel for over 60s, however only 35% of the survey’s respondents had a concessionary travel pass.

Mr Leonard said: “Free bus travel for the over 60s, introduced by the last Labour government, has been one of the finest achievements of the Scottish Parliament.

“That is one reason why Labour wants to establish free bus travel for all, starting with extending the free bus pass to under 25s.

“This move would overwhelmingly benefit the poorest in our society, and make a real difference to the economy.

“Every £1 spent on concessionary bus travel generates almost £3 in benefits to those bus users and to the wider economy.

“That’s why we are bringing a debate on our policy to the Scottish Parliament this week.”