YOUNG Helensburgh bus users will see the "huge benefits" of their free bus pass in the new year, says an MSP.

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer, who represents Helensburgh and Lomond as part of his West Scotland regional remit, was speaking after it was revealed 802,746 free journeys have been taken across Argyll and Bute since the launch of the free bus pass scheme in January 2022.

Scotland is the only country in the UK to offer free bus travel for all young people under 22 and an incredible 700,000 young people now have their bus pass, taking more than 100 million free journeys as a result.

And Mr Greer insists young commuters will see the impact as people tighten their belts following the Christmas and New Year festivities.

He said: “This can be an expensive time of year for young people and their families, so our free bus travel scheme is providing important financial relief.

“It allows young people to get to work or education, visit family and friends, make important appointments and explore Scotland.

"And it’s a big boost for our environment, cutting emissions and reducing the number of cars on the road.

“Every free bus journey means more money in family’s pockets, which will be hugely welcome when Westminster’s cost of living crisis is pushing up household bills and other costs over winter.

"Free bus travel isn’t just for Christmas though, it is supporting families across Argyll and Bute all year round.

“To me, it is one of the clearest achievements of devolution, and I am delighted that it has been delivered by Scottish Greens in government.

“If any young person still hasn’t signed up, they can go to to do that today.”