YOUNG people in the Wee County have been urged to apply for a free bus card with applications open today.

The new card will allow anyone aged 21 and under to travel on the bus for free.

Mark Ruskell MSP has urged young people to take advantage of the scheme, stating "bus services will be a crucial part of the green recovery".

The scheme commences at the end of January and Mr Ruskell is urging young people to apply, especially those who are key workers during Covid restrictions.

Young people aged between five and 21 years old can now apply for a new Young Scot Card or National Entitlement Card via the Transport Scotland website.

Old cards will not work in the scheme.

Mr Ruskell, Scottish Greens MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said: "Young people will be able to travel anywhere in Scotland by bus for free from the end of the month.

"I'd encourage young people who rely on buses for essential travel in Clackmannanshire or their parents to apply for new entitlement cards as soon as possible.

"As Covid travel restrictions start to lift more young people will be able to get onboard and enjoy the opportunity of free travel.

"As we emerge from the pandemic, bus services will be a crucial part of the green recovery while tackling the climate emergency, and this travel card will open up opportunities for young people and their families.

"I'm delighted this Green policy has gone from the drawing board to reality and despite the difficulties of Covid, essential travellers such as key workers should feel the benefit from day one."

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the move in November after research by Transport Scotland found 61 per cent of young Scots believed access to public transport would play a central role in the fight against climate change.

The first minister said: "We are committed to giving our young people the very best chances to succeed in life.

"The extension of free bus travel to all under 22s will improve access to education, leisure, and work, while supporting the adoption of sustainable travel behaviours early in their lives."

Parents of children aged between five and 15 should apply for their card while anyone aged 16 or over should fill out their own application.

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