Scottish government charged with ‘contempt’ of public transport users over smart cards

The Scottish government has been accused of showing ‘contempt’ for commuters after slashing the budget for travel smart cards across Scotland.

The cards, which would allow money to be pre-loaded for use on trains, buses, ferries, trams and the underground in Glasgow, were announced in 2012 by the Prime Minister.

Almost 10 years later, the system has not materialized, despite using a similar system to implement free travel for all delegates to the Cop26 conference in Scotland.

Weeks after the United Nations climate conference, the Scottish government announced that funding for the system would drop from £ 4.9million to £ 3.9million.

In response to a question from Labor MP Paul Sweeney in November, the Prime Minister said the Scottish government was “working towards” the goal.

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Labor transport spokesman Neil Bibby said: “Clearly we should not hold our breath as we wait for the SNP to deliver on its multi-year-old smart ticketing promise.

“After years of delays and downgrades, the impossible has suddenly become possible for Cop26 delegates – but the Scottish public is still stuck with second-rate service.

“Despite the Prime Minister’s warm words, she has clearly abandoned this flagship commitment.

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“The SNP shows utter contempt for the people it is supposed to represent.

“Scotland deserves the same seamless and affordable public transport service that the Cop26 VIPs have enjoyed – and the SNP has to make it happen.”

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “Our vision is that all journeys on Scottish public transport networks can be made using some form of ticketing or smart payment and progress has already been made towards the achievement of this ambition.

“Scotland is the first in the UK to offer smart card compatibility between modes – where multiple tickets for different modes can be loaded onto a single smart card – and contactless payment is now accepted in more than 95% of buses in Scotland.

“We have also strengthened measures in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 to support local ticketing systems and continue to work with local authorities, regional transport partnerships and operators to enable ticketing systems to pass. to smart platforms. “

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