The announcement of plans for a Scotland-wide travel Smart Card has been hailed as a major step forward for public transport in Scotland.

The new Saltire Card will allow passengers to pre-load money onto their cards which can then be used to pay for fares on trains, buses, ferries, subways and trams throughout Scotland.

The concessionary travel scheme already operating across Scotland using Smart technology is already the biggest example of a bus smart ticketing scheme in the UK outside London, with all of Scotland 260 bus operators taking part.

Commenting, Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said:

“This is a great step forward in making it easier for people to use public transport services across the length and breadth of Scotland.

“Whether it’s for Falkirk’s many commuters or for visiting tourists, being able to use Smart Card technology across the range of public transport options will give people far more flexibility when travelling.

“Improving the connections between Falkirk district to other towns and cities is an important part of boosting local economies and continuing our progress towards meeting our world-leading carbon emission reduction targets.

“With a lot of the technology already in place thanks to the concessionary bus pass, I am hopeful that we will see Saltire Cards rolled out as quickly as possible.”