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Free bus scheme ‘should be extended to all jobseekers’

10 Dec 2012

Citizens Advice Scotland have welcomed the news that some unemployed benefit claimants are to get free bus travel – something CAS has long been calling for. But we also say the scheme should be made permanent, and extended to include all unemployed people, not just some.

Details of the scheme announced today, including the restrictions, are at: http://www.busforus.co.uk/busforjobs

CAS Chief Executive Margaret Lynch says,

“We are delighted that the government has finally conceded our request that people on benefits get free bus passes. However we would wish to see free bus passes provided to all jobseekers, not just those who have been out of work for more than 3 months and less than 12.

“I personally visited Lanark CAB recently and was told of claimants who were paying £12 in bus fares every time they had to sign on. If the Jobcentre called them back for an interview they could be out of pocket to the tune of £24 in one week. When they only get £71 a week to pay for everything, this is a massive financial penalty.

“We would like to see this scheme extended to include all bus routes. We don’t see the point in offering this to some but not all of Scotland’s unemployed. Unemployed people need access to free transport not just to sign on and attend job interviews, but to play a full part in the life of their communities.”

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