A REPORT by Scottish Rural Action has found that transport costs in rural Scotland are getting in the way of young people finding employment, and accessing education and training.

The report, titled 'FareEnough?', is based on a survey of young people living in rural communities, and recommends that further research into the issue is carried out with the aim of finding a solution.

Among its key findings were that:

• 48% of young people have been prevented from going to work because travel is too expensive;

• Over 20% of young people’s income is spent on travel to work;

• Almost 30% of young people have been stopped from accessing education or training because travel is too costly;

• 33% of young people travel over 30 miles per day for work or education.

Scottish Rural Action chief executive Emma Cooper said: “Young people in rural areas deserve the same access to education and employment as young people who live elsewhere, and to do that, we need an integrated, reliable, frequent and affordable public transport system.

"Young people are telling us that they are missing out on jobs and training because public transport costs too much for them, which will have a lifelong impact on their skill levels, earnings and our rural economy."

At the critical stage in a young person's development when they are making important decisions about their future and embarking on the first steps of their career, affordable transport lets them access essential education and training – but in a rural area, transport is often a barrier.

“Although this report looks at a relatively small sample of young people, the results are eye-opening," said Ms Cooper. "If we do not investigate further, and address the concerns raised here as a matter of urgency, we risk excluding yet more young people from reaching their potential and damaging our rural economy.”

For more information on Scottish Rural Action see www.sra.scot