Young people in Inverclyde can get on board buses for free thanks to a new national travel scheme.
Anyone aged 5 and 21 will be able to access services across Scotland at no cost from 31 January 2022 as part of a nationwide scheme but those who need to make essential journeys only are being targeted first in line with the current government coronavirus safety advice, which is to stay at home as much as possible to help limit the spread of Covid-19.
Young people will need a new or replacement National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot NEC to participate with applications now being accepted.
Inverclyde Council will coordinate registrations for pupils in its schools and parents will be issued with consent forms meaning they do not need to register.
Young people who are not of school age but are eligible for the scheme will have to sign up and are being encouraged to do so online.
Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council and children and young people spokesperson for COSLA, said: “Essential journeys only are advised at present to help reduce the spread of coronavirus but it’s important that our young people are signed up to the scheme so that they can benefit from free bus travel when the time is right.
“Our education and community, learning and development staff will be supporting local young people, particularly school pupils, and their families to ensure that those who are eligible can access the scheme when it launches at the end of the month.
“Accessing free bus travel, whether for education, training, work or leisure, will provide a massive financial boost for many families across Inverclyde and help support our young people to achieve their full potential.”
The scheme is being delivered by the Scottish Government through its agency Transport Scotland and in partnership with the Improvement Service, National Entitlement Card Programme Office, Young Scot, local authorities, and bus operators.
Free bus travel will be available to all young people aged 5-21 who have an NEC or Young Scot card but only those for whom bus travel is essential are being asked to submit their applications at this time.
The scheme does not replace dedicated school transport which is already in place for pupils.
For more information about the young persons’ free bus travel scheme and to sign up visit www.getyournec.scot.
To access additional help and support email U22freetravel@inverclyde.gov.uk or contact 01475 715450.