Consultation on free bus travel for people resident in Scotland aged under 19

Closed 7 Dec 2020

Opened 26 Oct 2020


The Scottish Government intends to launch a new statutory national concessionary travel scheme providing free bus travel for young people resident in Scotland up to their 19th birthday (referred to as ‘under 19s’ or ‘under 19’ throughout this consultation). We anticipate that legislation to underpin the scheme would be required to be laid in Parliament in early 2021 and the scheme would come into effect later in 2021.

The consultation will run for six weeks and we are inviting responses by Monday 7 December.

Why we are consulting

The purpose of this consultation is to set out the proposed arrangements for the new scheme and options for how the scheme operates. By providing us with your views, we can establish the most appropriate way to provide free travel for young people to meet their needs and requirements.

We hope that as many members of the public as possible will respond to this consultation. In particular we would like to hear the views of people who will be impacted by these proposals including children and young people, their parents and carers and people who work with children in a paid or voluntary capacity.  We appreciate that some of the consultation questions are technical but their application to free bus travel could have direct impacts on numerous individuals and organisations. As such, we would encourage everyone to respond to any or all of those areas where you feel you have a contribution to make.

This consultation is not about the design or implementation of any other concessionary travel schemes. We are running a separate engagement with young people on the future of transport more broadly, seeking their views on how we tackle transport inequalities and move us towards a more sustainable and inclusive Scottish transport network.

Read the consultation paper

What happens next

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at 

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us prepare the free bus travel scheme for people resident in Scotland aged under 19. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available.


  • Children and Families
  • Communities and Third Sector
  • Equality, Welfare and Rights
  • Transport