An unintended consequence of free bus travel in Scotland – a rise in antisocial behaviour?

It’s reported bus operators in Scotland have seen an increase in anti-social behaviour since a flagship scheme allowing young Scots to travel for free was launched.

The newspaper The Herald says it comes amid growing concern among local councillors and community campaigners across Scotland that the scheme could also be behind a rise in youth crime and disorder in Scotland’s towns, city centres and shopping precincts.

The report explains that at a local area committee in Livingston this week, councillors claimed that the free bus pass scheme is fuelling anti-social behaviour in a local shopping complex, with police saying that youngsters are travelling to the centre from Edinburgh and Fife ‘intent to cause trouble’. 

It quotes Labour Councillor Tom Conn telling a Linlithgow local Area Committee: “My understanding with the problems with the retail centre was that youths were coming from Fife with intent with a plan to commit assault.

“The Under 22 bus pass seems to have opened up opportunities and travel costs are not a barrier to moving further afield. It seems to be the unintended consequence of having a free bus pass.”

(File picture – First Bus)


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