COULD a free public transport scheme be the answer to getting Glasgow moving?

In other parts of Europe free public transport is growing, with Luxembourg announcing it is to become the first country to introduce free travel for residents.

Six years ago, Tallin, the capital of the Baltic republic Estonia, started a free travel scheme for residents.

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It was considered a success and the Estonian Government now provides funding to allow other counties and cities to do the same.

In Germany, six cities have been chosen for a pilot and it is being considered in France as well.

Public transport, pollution and congestion are high on the political agenda in Glasgow.

Glasgow City Council is actively implementing measures to improve transport in Glasgow and reduce pollution and is considering others.

The Low Emission Zone starts at the end of this month and the council is currently considering the recommendations of the Connectivity Commission which aims to reduce car use within the city centre and improve space for walking and cycling.

Free public transport has been growing in Europe since the Estonian scheme.

In Tallin, residents register for the scheme and pay 2 Euros for a green card that allows free travel on buses, trams, trains and trolley buses.

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People living outside the city, tourist and visitors still pay a fare.

Further afield in Melbourne, Australia free tram travel within the city centre area.

For something similar to happen here other changes would most likely need to happen first.

Glasgow City Council said it has not actively considered a free public transport area.

A spokesman said: “The basis of how the regulatory framework for transport in the UK is currently comprised would prevent it being a viable option.”

“It would need a publicly owned bus system.”

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However, it works in other European cities where the conditions allow it.

Campaigners have been calling for a publicly owned bus network for Glasgow which could potentially allow free bus travel at least.

Labour have been calling for bus regulation and for more groups of people to qualify for free travel.

Pauline McNeill, Glasgow Labour MSP, has called for the concessionary travel scheme to be extended to young people.

She said to transform public transport in Glasgow, a “big idea” of some sort is needed.

Ms McNeill, said: “The concept would be welcomed with open arms but it would be difficult to implement in the current climate and the cost would be huge.

“I would start with young people as they are the group that currently doesn’t have free travel that needs it most.”

In Germany, where the trials are taking place, improvements to public transport are coming from an unlikely source.

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Car giants Mercedes, Volkswagen and BMW have contributed 250m Euros to a 1bn to improve public transport as it is recognised radical measures are needed to cut C02 emissions.

In Estonia the government funds the free travel like Scotland does with concessionary travel, but for everyone.

Some parties in Scotland are looking at free transport but as a long term ambition.

The Greens want more affordable public transport now, and at their most recent party conference passed a policy of supporting fare free public transport in the future.

A spokesperson for the Green councillor group in Glasgow, said“Greens are already campaigning for better buses and more reliable rail services, as well as having a longer-term aim of fare-free public transport.

“Reducing barriers to people using public transport is vital if we want to make Glasgow more accessible for everyone while also reducing dependence on private car travel.

“We can do more now to make fares affordable for all as well as ensuring through improvements to the Transport Bill that public transport is run in the wider public interest.”