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A scheme to reduce ferry fares for school mini-buses is to be rolled out on Arran and across the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services network later this year.
It will see a 50 per cent discount brought in for mini-buses from island and mainland schools to make it cheaper for pupils to travel for extra-curricular activities.
It follows consultation with the Ferries Community Board who’ve campaigned for this reduction in fares to benefit young people in our remote communities.
Transport minister Graeme Dey made the announcement during a visit to Arran. He said: ‘I’m really pleased to announce this discount, which will make it more affordable for school groups to travel to and from the islands for educational, cultural and sporting activities.
‘This is one of the issues that has been raised regularly by the Ferries Community Board, so I’m sure it will be welcomed and I thank them for their input.
‘In the longer term, we’ll review making the discount permanent as part of the ongoing fares review being carried out in the Islands Connectivity Plan,’ he added.
Angus Campbell from the Ferries Community Board said: ‘We very much welcome this announcement. We have long campaigned for such a change and are confident it will make a real difference to the equality of access to these types of activities for our island young people.’
The discount will be introduced on December 1 and reviewed after the initial year to establish how it has been taken up and how it is funded. In the longer term, the discount will be considered as part of the fares policy review in the Islands Connectivity Plan.