Free Bus Pass

concessionary travel for people seeking asylum in Scotland

People seeking asylum are left to survive on a pitifully inadequate amount of £6.40 per day if in dispersal housing and £1.30 per day if in “ex-hotel” accommodation. People are typically stuck waiting for even an initial asylum decision for many months, often years. Some 120,000 people are in that predicament as we write, across the UK.

The trend is sadly relentless at present. They are also denied the right to work, and so many are desperate to work and volunteer. This is all by design of a UK state-sanctioned severe poverty, for months and years. People are often isolated, mental health deterioration sets in and the reality is that integration from day one is a distant hope for most.

Together with partner organisations, including our MIN Voices group, Voices Network, Scottish Refugee Council, and JustRight Scotland, we have been campaigning for concessionary free bus travel for asylum seekers in Scotland since December 2021.Currently, there are approximately 5,000 people who are seeking asylum in Scotland.

Access to concessionary bus travel is viewed by us as a key social justice policy. It will emphasise, be positively life-changing and mentally transformative for those otherwise stuck in a dreadfully inadequate and slow asylum system and most of all we know it will move asylum seekers as a group so much closer to integration in our communities. It is a genuine win-win. It will again mark out Scotland as tangibly welcoming refugees.

The current weekly £4.70 allocated to transport in asylum support does not even get a day bus ticket in Glasgow. For someone wanting to get to their language classes or football sessions or whatever it is, access to bus travel makes that possible. It enables integration; not having it disables it. We can do this.

Videos and articles 

Please sign the petition Extend the concessionary bus travel scheme to include people seeking asylum in Scotland

Recent Statement from the Scottish Faith Leaders calling on the Scottish Government to extend #FreeBusTravel to people seeking asylum.

Free Bus Travel is not a luxury. It will definitely improve our mental wellbeing”

More about the campaign.