Impact on Islands Communities of Free Bus Travel for Young People Under 22

Closed 25 Jun 2021

Opened 24 May 2021

Feedback updated 15 Dec 2021

We asked

We asked for your views on whether provision of free bus travel to all young people aged under 22 would have an effect on island communities which is significantly different from the effect on other communities in Scotland, and if so, what measures the Scottish Government might consider to mitigate any adverse effects on island communities in relation to the provision of free bus travel for those aged under 22 specifically. This consultation was undertaken between 24 May 2021 and 21 June 2021.

You said

We received 151 responses from individuals and organisations to the consultation. The majority of these responses supported free bus travel for under 22s noting it would have positive impacts on young people in island communities. However a number raised concerns about its application in island communities. Key issues raised were lack of bus services in island communities; potential loss of revenue for Regional Transport Partnerships and/or Local Authorities; and the scheme only applying to buses and not ferries or air travel. Where permission to publish has been provided, the consultation responses are now available to view online.

We did

The consultation responses were considered as part of the Island Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA) that was undertaken in relation to the free bus scheme.  The published ICIA is available at The National Bus Travel Concession Scheme for Young Persons (Scotland) Amendment Order 2021 ( 

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This consultation seeks views on the impact on island communities of the introduction of free bus travel throughout Scotland for those under age 22 .

Why your views matter

We consulted on free bus travel throughout Scotland for under 19s at the end of 2020. A number of responses raised issues around the impacts of the scheme on island communities. We committed to carry out an Island Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA) for the scheme before its introduction. This further consultation seeks views to help us gather evidence to inform the ICIA that we are now undertaking.

Read the consultation paper.

What happens next

The consultation responses will inform the Islands Communities Impact Assessment for the planned new Scotland-wide free bus travel scheme for under 22s. The responses will be analysed and published on Citizen Space.


  • Transport