APPLICATIONS have now opened for Borderers under the age of 22 to access free bus travel.

Those aged between 5-21 will be able to travel without paying from January 31 thanks to the scheme introduced by the Scottish Government.

Children under 5 years old already travel for free on buses and don’t need a card.

Borders MSP Christine Grahame, of the SNP, said the initiative is set to benefit around 930,000 young people across Scotland.

“I am delighted that applications are now open for young people in the Borders, under the age of 22, to apply for free bus travel across the country,” said the Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale representative.

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“This is a hugely significant commitment from the Scottish Government that will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people across the country.

“Young people in the Borders are rightly challenging their politicians to take bold actions to create a sustainable future for them and free bus travel is an example of what can be done to rise to this challenge.”

She added; “Making bus travel free for under 22s is not only important for helping tackle the climate emergency but it will take pressure off young people’s finances and improve their access to education, leisure, and work.

“Whilst we continue to live through the pandemic, we all recognise that essential travel must be prioritised so I want to specifically encourage those children and young people with essential journeys to make to apply now.”

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The scheme will be delivered in partnership with Transport Scotland, the Improvement Service, the National Entitlement Card Programme Office (NECPO), Young Scot, local authorities and bus operators.

The initiative will allow free travel in any part of Scotland on registered bus services.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “In light of high levels of COVID-19 transmission, the Scottish Government is asking that you only apply for the scheme at this point if it is essential that you, or your child, travel by bus while restrictions are in place.”

You can either apply online at GETYOURNEC.SCOT or (if your child’s school uses it) on