Public transport tax relief campaign launched

Written by Alan Robertson on 14 March 2016 in News

Transform Scotland calls for investment in bus lanes and Scotland-wide public transport smart card

Transport campaigners have called for tax relief to extend to public transport users amid claims it is a “nonsense” such incentives encompass workplace parking but not bus commuters.

Transform Scotland, a charity that advocates sustainable transport and has a membership of over 60 organisations, said the existing set-up is a “perverse and distorting tax incentive in favour of car use”.

The organisation, which is today launching a new campaign to move buses higher up the agenda ahead of the Holyrood election in May, said a so-called ‘bus bonus’ should extend to public transport season tickets. The next Scottish Government is also urged to press the UK Government to “correct this distorting tax anomaly”.


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Increased investment in bus lanes and other priority measures to help reduce bus journey times and minimise congestion on the roads features too among the three demands made by Transform Scotland.

The final call to be made by the campaign is for the introduction of a Scotland-wide smartcard – akin to London’s Oyster card – that would be “usable by all modes of public transport”.

Campaigners claim that the existing system of ticketing puts people off using public transport. Final testing of a single card payment for public transport across Scotland underway, though there has been no announcement on a rollout date.

Transform Scotland chair Phil Matthews said it is “now imperative that government turns more of its attention” to reversing a fall in bus use after figures published earlier this month showed passenger numbers have dropped 10 per cent in the space of five years.

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