A FIFE MSP has hit out at "extortionate" bus fares across the Kingdom.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Alex Rowley has written to Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth after constituents raised concerns about the high costs.

He stated that travel expenses were a "post code lottery", noting that a bus commute to his regional office in Lochgelly could take up to an hour longer, at a minimum price of £6.50.

"It is a bit concerning that I have to point out to the Scottish Government in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis they at least appear to be aware of that it may be a bit out of touch to suggest to constituents that £98 per month is an acceptable outlay for short journeys," he said.

"Yet that was the message my constituent received from their constituency MSP when they made contact on what they called ‘extortionate cost of bus fares’.

"Bus fares are a post code lottery at the moment – if you’re lucky enough to live in Edinburgh, you will get the benefit of publicly-owned and reliable bus routes across the city but in my region, the same cannot be said unfortunately."

This is the second time Mr Rowley has raised the issue with the Scottish Government, in the hopes that lowering costs would ease pressure on those struggling.

"I raised this directly with the Minister for Transport in February and I am raising it again – there is nothing fair about bus fares across Scotland at the moment and radical action must be taken to start running buses as a public service for the benefit of the public.

"Scottish Labour is committing to an immediate expansion of free bus travel to under-25s with the longer-term goal of universal free bus travel.

"I have asked the Minister to tell me what radical action the Scottish Government is willing to take to kickstart the completely achievable goal of greater bus usage.

"As I have said many times, now more than ever we need to encourage the public to ditch the car and use greener transport options like buses to achieve our climate targets.

"With the added problem of the cost-of-living crisis, free bus travel would be a small step to alleviating one cost pressure and offer an opportunity of freedom for many on low-incomes – it could be the difference between attending a job interview, being able to take on a new employment opportunity or visiting a loved one."

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: "We want more people to choose to travel by bus now and in the future. As well as expanding free bus travel to under 22s – meaning around half the population are now eligible for free travel – we are providing £40 million in recovery funding to bus operators in 2022-23 through the Network Support Grant Plus and capping fare increases for operators receiving that funding.

"We’re also taking forward a Fair Fares Review to ensure a sustainable and integrated approach to public transport fares. The review will look at the range of discounts and concessionary schemes which are available on all modes including bus, rail and ferry.

"Additionally, the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 provides an enhanced suite of options for local transport authorities to improve bus services according to their local needs, including powers for local authority run services, franchising and a new Bus Service Improvement Partnership model."