BUS PASS GROWTH HAILED AS SUCCESS
New statistics show nearly 45,000 over-60s in Renfrewshire are now benefiting from free bus travel, while the overall number of bus passes in Renfrewshire has rocketed by over 15% over the last five years.
The figures from Transport Scotland also show an increase of over 20% in the number of over-60s passes issued since 2016.
In total nearly 50,000 passes were on issue to Renfrewshire residents last year, with the bulk of these held by over-60s.
Renfrewshire outstripped the national picture, with an overall increase of 11.7% for all passholders and 15.1% for over-60s across Scotland as a whole in the last five years.
Nationally 1,466,511 people had a concessionary bus pass, over 1.3 million of them receiving it because of their age, with the remainder issued to disabled and visually impaired people and their companions.
The concessionary travel scheme allows card holders to travel for free on local bus services and has provided a lifeline for older and disabled people, improving mobility and access to services.
The scheme was extended earlier this year to include anyone aged 5 – 21 years old, with around 600,000 more people qualifying for the pass, potentially bringing the total issued to over 2 million.
The new figures were welcomed by Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP, Gavin Newlands.
“The continued and growing success of the concessionary travel scheme shows how Scotland is delivering in supporting our communities and generating crucial custom for bus operators.
“The social impact of the bus pass over the years is incalculable, reducing loneliness and isolation, improving mobility and accessing services, improving health and wellbeing, and reducing the financial burden on older households and those with disabilities.
“The huge growth of the card over the last 5 years shows how popular the scheme is and how the SNP is delivering for the people of Scotland.
“The nearly 50,000 passes on issue in Renfrewshire represent nearly 50,000 people who can travel without having to worry about the cost, particularly important for older households as the Tory cost of living crisis hit hardest.
“Extending eligibility to under 22s is now making a real difference to hard-pressed families as well, a real dividend of a Scottish Government delivering across the board.
“I would urge anyone who may be eligible for their pass but hasn’t applied yet to visit getyournec.scot to get the ball rolling and make sure they’re getting the help to travel they’re entitled to.”