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Transport Scotland is to reduce ferry fares for school mini-buses across CalMac’s network.

The new scheme will make it cheaper for pupils to travel for extra-curricular activities by bringing in a 50% discount for mini-buses from both island and mainland schools.

SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar Alasdair Allan has welcomed a decision as one of those who had been calling for a school mini-bus discount to be introduced. 

“This discount will make a big difference to how affordable it is for school groups to travel to and from the islands, whether for educational, cultural or sporting activities.

"I am pleased by the announcement, as I am sure all pupils and their families in the Western Isles will be too. Travel costs should not be a barrier to any pupil who wants to be involved in these types of activity.”

The discount will be introduced on December 1 and reviewed after the initial year to establish how it has been taken up and how it is funded.

In the longer term, the discount will be considered as part of the fares policy review in the Islands Connectivity Plan.