Scottish Parliament set to pass free bus travel budget

MSPs are expected to back Scottish Green proposals to give every under-19 in Scotland free bus travel today, as the budget reaches its final stage at Holyrood.

Commenting ahead of the Stage 3 debate, Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “I’m proud that the Scottish Greens have secured the transformative move to free bus travel, which will provide opportunities for our young people, alleviate family poverty and tackle the climate emergency.

“Our free bus travel proposal has been welcomed by the Commissioner for Children and Young People, the Poverty Alliance, Transform Scotland and Friends of the Earth. It will be very disappointing if Labour and the Conservatives retreat to tribalism today and vote against the plans, but that wouldn’t be enough to prevent our young people getting free bus travel next year.

“It has been fantastic to see the impact of the additional funding we won for councils already making a difference. Cuts proposed by SNP and Labour councils are being reversed, not least the proposed closure of the Blairvadach outdoor education centre by Glasgow City Council. This shows that having Greens in both Holyrood and City Chambers can make a real difference.”

In a late deal with the Scottish Government before the Stage 1 debate last week, Greens secured a commitment to introduce free bus travel for those aged 18 and under in January 2021, as well as an  additional £95m for councils, £25m extra for making homes warmer and more efficient, an increase in funding for walking and cycling to £100m, £13m for community safety and crime prevention and a review of new road expansion projects.

You can read more details of our budget deal here