Tuesday, 31 March 2009



New figures show Scotland is winning the race to provide better bus services.

And the Scottish Government has extended the scheme to allow Scotland’s disabled veterans to travel for free – in contrast to the cuts in concessionary travel in England coming into effect tomorrow (1st April).

Under the SNP Government spending on bus services in Scotland reached £275 million, a real terms increase of 2% and spending on concessionary fares increased by 3%. Spending in Scotland is now 20% higher than spending on bus services across England.

The cost of bus travel fell in Scotland, in comparison to a 1% rise across the UK and the distance travelled by buses increased, with commuters taking longer bus journeys.

Welcoming the figures SNP MSP Rob Gibson – a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Transport committee said;

“These figures show the SNP is getting Scotland on the buses.

“Scots are travelling further and bus services are expanding. Spending has increased and the concessionary fares scheme has been extended to disabled veterans.

“In contrast Labour is cutting the concessionary fares scheme south of the border and spending is lagging behind Scotland.

“More people are travelling longer distances on Scotland’s buses at a lower cost, with the average Scot taking 100 bus journeys a year – more than their counterparts in other parts of the UK and travelling further with every journey.

“The increase in funding for bus services and for concessionary fares ensures Scotland’s bus services have a strong future.

“It’s now time to encourage even more people onto buses and public transport to help Scotland hit our climate change targets.”

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