Want to read more?
At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall,
However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free. To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic.
The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.
We value our content and our journalists, so to get full access to all your local news updated 7-days-a-week – PLUS an e-edition of the Arran Banner – subscribe today for as little as 48 pence per week.
The call being made this week for free bus travel for the under-22s to be extended on to the ferries is an important one.
Young people living on Arran should not have to suffer having to pay for their own transport any time they want to go to the mainland, when restrictions are lifted, while their counterparts on the mainland can jump on a bus for free any time they like.
It is often said by islanders that the ferry is like catching the bus for us – we have no choice and young people should not be penalised because of where they live.
It is good that the Scottish Government has extended the concessionary travel scheme from the under-19s to include the under-22s, as many youngsters at that age are still in full-time education, or early in their careers where they may not earn much.
There is no doubt that the lure of the mainland is strong for the young, but if there is anything we can do to make more youngsters stay on the island then that is what we should be doing.
Giving them free fares on the ferry would seems one way of helping and would be a drop in the ocean in terms of funding – given what the free bus travel scheme must cost nationally for both the young and old.
Maybe there is even argument for extended the free ferry travel scheme for the over-60s as well.