- What discussions the Scottish Government has held with bus operators/CPT regarding the increase in reported acts of anti-social behaviour on public transport and city centres linked to the National Bus Travel Concession Scheme for Young Persons.
- What discussions the Scottish Government has held with Police Scotland regarding the increase in reported acts of anti-social behaviour and youth violence linked to the National Bus Travel Concession Scheme for Young Persons.
- What discussions/modelling took place ahead of the introduction of the National Bus Travel Concession Scheme for Young Persons in relation to a potential increase in anti-social behaviour on public transport and city centres.
- As part of Scottish Bus Task Force meetings on 14 December 2022, Transport Scotland officials have had discussions with CPT and bus operators regarding reported increased acts of anti-social behaviour (ASB) on buses and city centres linked to the National Free Bus Travel Scheme for Young People.
The Bus Task Force was set up by the previous Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth MSP, in August 2022 to address the immediate challenges to help bus networks move to a more sustainable footing following Covid and ensure that recovery is fully supported by wider policies to improve bus services across Scotland. The Task Force includes representatives from bus operators and the Confederation of Passenger Transport, local authorities and Transport Scotland.
Transport Scotland officials also discussed this issue as part of a meeting with CPT and large bus operators on 27 April 2023.
- Transport Scotland officials have regular engagement with Police Scotland on a number of issues including the reported increase in ASB and youth violence linked to the National Bus Travel Concession Scheme for Young Persons.
- Prior to the introduction of the National Free Bus Travel Scheme for Young People, various Assessments were carried out to look at the impact the scheme could have on a number of issues. The assessment documents have been published and are available to view on Transport Scotland's web pages at https://www.transport.gov.scot/concessionary-travel/young-persons-free-bus-travelscheme/# 69513. These include a Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment and an Equality Impact Assessment which considered possible impacts the scheme could have on ASB a result of free bus travel for those aged under 22.
The Scottish Government also committed to ongoing evaluation of the scheme during the first five years of its operation. This will assess the short, medium and long term impacts of the scheme by comparing conditions at different stages. As part of this evaluation a baseline study was carried out prior to the scheme being implemented. It looked to establish existing travel behaviour and looked at the attitudes and perceptions of young people towards travel. ASB was considered in relation to personal safety during the baseline data collection stage, providing comparative data to draw on. The base line data report can be viewed at Baseline data report - June 2022 - Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme | Transport Scotland.
Work is now underway on the design of the 1 year after launch evaluation and this will look at a range of issues around ASB, including from the perspective of cardholders as both perpetrators and victims of ASB.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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