Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan, has today (Tuesday) welcomed the announcement from Transport Minister, Keith Brown, in Stornoway, that voluntary and charitable organisations, including churches, will now benefit from an extension of the Air Discount Scheme (ADS).
Dr Allan commented: “A number of charities and churches have raised with me the case for their being eligible for the Air Discount Scheme when travelling on behalf of their organisations.
“This was an issue I first raised some time ago with the Scottish Government, and last year had a joint meeting on this issue with my fellow island MSPs and the Transport Minister. I have pursued this issue again in recent weeks.
“The Scottish Government operates under constrained financial circumstances, which led to a stricter enforcing of the rules on Air Discount Scheme travel in recent years for anyone not travelling in a personal capacity.
“I am extremely pleased, however, that the Transport Minister has decided that charitable organisations, of which there are so many in the Western Isles, which are working to help the more vulnerable in society will now be able to benefit from reduced air fares for their volunteers and employees.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown said:
“Since its introduction in 2006, the Air Discount Scheme has been an overwhelming success. Its 70,000 members have taken advantage of the 40% discount on core fares with over 1 million tickets discounted to date.
“We are committed to ensuring that the scheme is targeted at and used by those who benefit most and that is why I am delighted to make this announcement today.
“By extending the scheme to the third sector, organisations that help some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our communities will be assisted in maintaining networks and accessing training opportunities which are essential to the work they undertake.
“This initiative takes effect immediately and we hope as many organisations as possible take up this opportunity in the interests of promoting the work of this vital sector and supporting the social wellbeing of the communities they serve.”
Organisations who wish more information on the ADS and to take advantage of the Scheme should register their interest with the Air Discount Scheme Administrative Team by contacting them at PO Box 5715, Inverness, IV1 9AS or at firstname.lastname@example.org or on freephone 0800 0322890.