The new concessionary scheme was set out in the Scottish Government’s budget, which will give free bus travel to those aged 18 and under.

Latest figures produced by National Records of Scotland estimate there were 20,000 people aged between 5 and 18 in the North Ayrshire Council area with 11,000 people aged between 5 and 18 in Cunninghame South in 2018.

The Scottish Government will undertake work on design and due diligence with a view to introducing such a scheme in January 2021.

Commenting, SNP MSP Ruth Maguire said:

“Free bus travel will be an enormous benefit to young people in North Ayrshire – keeping money in their pockets and improving their opportunities to work, study and socialise.

“Alongside the £500 million investment in bus infrastructure previously announced by the Scottish Government, this radical and innovative approach will help deliver a step change in the use of public transport.

“Encouraging the use of public transport is an essential part of our world-leading efforts to tackle the climate emergency.

“Concessionary travel has brought enormous benefits to those aged over 60 and I’m delighted that it will now be extended to young people.”