Liberal Democrats have condemned the Government’s “dither and delay” over a review of public transport fares in Scotland.
The Bute House Agreement, signed by the SNP and the Greens in August 2021, promised a Fair Fares Review to “ensure a sustainable and integrated approach to public transport fares”.
The agreement pledged this would look at the range of discounts and concessionary schemes available across all forms of transport, including bus, train and ferry.
The Lib Dems highlighted that was almost 900 days ago, with the review findings yet to be released.
The party said that in the 897 days since the review was announced, Scotland has had four transport ministers – with Graeme Dey, Jenny Gilruth and Kevin Stewart holding the post before Fiona Hyslop took over in June 2023.
Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Making people wait almost 900 days for a review of public transport fares is farcical.
“It raises big questions about how seriously this Government takes greener travel and improving connectivity.
“Since 2021, we’ve seen a rapid turnover of transport ministers, combined with an enormous rise in rail fares. All of this is a hammer blow for commuters, communities and the environment.”
Mr Cole-Hamilton raised the length of time the review has taken with First Minister Humza Yousaf when party leaders met for talks on climate change this week.
The Lib Dem said: “All we’ve heard from ministers is dither and delay, and that’s why I raised the issue with the First Minister this week.
“If we want to convince people to rely on public transport, we need a system that is cheap, effective and well joined up.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats have set out extensive proposals to help all those travelling by rail, bus and ferry – now it’s time for ministers to take those plans forward and put them into action.”
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “The Fair Fares Review, which has been undertaken to consider options to address issues relating to the cost and availability of public transport services, has now reported its findings, recommendations and proposed actions internally.
“These are being carefully considered by ministers in the context of the Scottish Budget set out on December 19.
“The findings of the review will be published in the coming weeks.”