9 Nov 2015

Fairer deal is just the ticket - Press release

A giant bus company is to lift its early evening curfew on children after campaigning politician Hugh Henry put the problem in the spotlight.

Yesterday the Renfrewshire South MSP praised the managing director of McGill’s buses for acting quickly and fairly after he highlighted the concerns of some of his constituents.
And he revealed the management have gone even further and are introducing a new deal where young people aged 16+ but not necessarily at school do not lose out on student discounts.

The second move came after the seasoned campaigner backed an appeal by Osama Nadeem, who is the MSYP for Paisley, to put pressure on McGill’s to introduce fairer fares for students.

Up until recently an all day child’s ticket could not be used after 7pm leaving many young teens in Renfrewshire unable to take advantage of the cheaper fare if they had been at a club or out elsewhere.

Mr Henry said: “I got in touch with McGill’s after receiving complaints about the flexibility of the child’s all day ticket. Constituents were unhappy that the child’s day ticket was only valid until 7pm. 

“I can understand concerns about young children travelling alone at night however, many 14 and 15 year olds participate in evening school activities and would be caught out by this. Similarly they would be at a disadvantage if they decided to go to see a film or shopping in the early evening at Braehead.

“I was delighted that McGill’s responded so positively to our concerns and committed to relaxing the curfew on the child’s ticket from 7pm to 10pm. This offers my constituents and others across Scotland a better bus service and greater flexibility in their travel.”
And it was a double delight for McGill’s young passengers when the company boss went a step further and moved to make sure young folk not at school or college do not miss out on the discounts enjoyed by their student peers. 

Mr Henry was approached by the Scottish Youth Parliament who were worried that young people were missing out on discounts enjoyed elsewhere and with other bus companies.
Mr Henry said: “It was brought to my attention that First buses give young people a discount if they hold a Young Scot Card. The Scottish Youth Parliament was concerned that this was not the case with McGill’s buses, meaning that constituents were missing out on discounted fares.

“I wrote to McGill’s and was delighted to receive a response committing to offer the same scheme as First in order to ensure an equal footing for all passengers regardless of which service they use. This is good news for young people  in Renfrewshire regardless of whether they are a student or in employment. Those aged 11 to 26 with a Young Scot Card will get the discount.”

Ralph Roberts Managing Director of McGill’s said: “We offer significant child and student discounts which makes travelling by McGill’s much cheaper than First for these groups. However, not all of the 16+ age range are students so we will take part. This age range is at the bottom of the earnings ladder and it’s only right that we assist them in their mobility.”