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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-04179
Asked by: Beatrice Wishart, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Date lodged: 5 November 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it has given to introducing free travel for under 22s on internal ferries, in line with free bus travel commitments; what distance under 22s travel on average on internal ferries per year, and what assessment has been made of the costs that under 22s would save per year under a system of free internal ferry travel for that age group.

Current status: Answered by Graeme Dey on 18 November 2021


Answer

The new statutory scheme is for bus travel only and does not extend to ferry travel. The soon to be published Island Communities Impact Assessment will discuss this in more detail and ferry fares are being reviewed as part of the forthcoming Islands Connectivity Plan.

We are also committed to taking forward our Fair Fares Review to ensure a sustainable and integrated approach to public transport fares, looking at the range of discounts and concessionary schemes which are available on all modes including bus, rail and ferry. The review will look at both cost and availability of services.

Internal ferries, including the setting of fares and holding information about services and travellers, is wholly the responsibility of the local authority. However, recognising the challenges this brings, the Scottish Government has provided over £50m to local authorities in the last four years on top of the local government settlement to support internal ferries.