Free tram travel for the elderly

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PENSIONERS and disabled travellers will benefit from free use of the Edinburgh Trams network.

Ministers have approved the extension of concessionary travel for over-60s on the route, but said city taxpayers must fund the provision.

Edinburgh City Council had asked the government to extend the concessionary scheme to the trams but transport secretary Keith Brown has previously suggested that extension could result in higher bus fares across the board.

The government already hands a subsidy to bus companies to fund concessionary bus travel, currently 67p per ticket. There had been an assumption by tram chiefs that the network would be included.

Mr Brown said that the local authority was welcome to pursue its own local concessionary scheme for the trams but that the city would have to fund a service.

“Securing the future of the national concessionary bus scheme was a key commitment for the Scottish Government and I am pleased that, following our discussions, Edinburgh City Council has agreed that it will look at ways of funding any local concessionary scheme for the trams”, he said.