Edinburgh trams: Plans unveiled for concessionary travel scheme

Tram on the test track at Gogar depot Trams are due to return to Edinburgh next year

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Councillors have unveiled plans to ensure that Edinburgh residents aged over 60 will be able to travel free on the city's trams.

The city council said it was committed to integrating Edinburgh's bus network with the trams and extending the free bus pass scheme to local people.

It will now look at ways of funding the initiative, which has been welcomed by the Scottish government.

Trams are due to be running in Edinburgh by the summer of 2014.

The council has always said it was committed to making sure the scheme works side by side with the capital's bus service

The announcement confirms that those over 60 and disabled travellers who live in the capital would travel on the trams for free.

'Key commitment'

Transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: "We are determined that Edinburgh residents who are eligible for free travel across the country should be able to use the tram on the same basis and we're now working with Transport Scotland to explore ways in which Edinburgh Council can support such a local scheme.

"The tram needs to be wholly integrated into the national transport network and, for me, this means that over 60s and people with disabilities should have free use of the service.

"We'll now start looking at the practicalities of funding this whilst operating within the national card scheme, and we'll work closely with Transport Scotland to achieve this."

The Scottish government, which provided £500m in financial support for the tram project, welcomed the announcement.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "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.

"This is good news for local residents in Edinburgh and the aim is that this scheme will help promote integration between the tram and local bus services in the city."

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