Take advantage of young free bus travel scheme

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Young people on Arran and across North Ayrshire are being urged to take advantage of the recently-introduced national free bus travel scheme.

Earlier this year, five- to 21-year-olds living in Scotland became eligible to travel on buses without charge using a National Entitlement Card (NEC) or a Young Scot Card.

While many have already signed up, other young people have not done so and are potentially missing out on significant savings as well as helping to meet climate change targets.

To access free bus travel, children under 16 require parental consent and a new NEC or Young Scot card.

Young people who are older than 16 can update their existing NEC or Young Scot Card using the Transport Scot Pass Collect app, available to download via the Apple Store or Google Play.

North Ayrshire Council’s schools have offered to take care of the pupil application process automatically if parents and carers give their consent.

Schools have issued parental consent forms to all pupils under the age of 16, and any pupil who has not yet returned the form should do so as soon as possible and take advantage of this offer.

Applying for free bus travel via a child’s school skips the need for a parent to complete ID checks, which are required if applying online via https://getyournec.scot/.

Since the schools have undertaken the process, the number of active cards allowing free bus travel in North Ayrshire have doubled from around 4,000 in early May to around 8,000.

Young people who are not of school age but are eligible for the scheme will have to sign up online at https://freebus.scot/ or https://getyournec.scot/

North Ayrshire Council is happy to help anyone submitting an application –  email necadmin@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

Council leader Marie Burns said: ‘This is a ground-breaking scheme which is already making a positive difference to the lives of our young people.

‘It’s heartening to see the recent surge in uptake of the scheme but we know there are many more young people out there who will reap the benefits but haven’t signed up yet. Please get in touch and let us help you.’