Bus companies are letting down the young people of East Renfrewshire, according to a campaigning MSP.

Ross Greer, who represents the Scottish Greens, brought a debate on fare increases to the Scottish Parliament last week.

He told fellow MSPs how a decision by bus firm McGill’s to scrap its student day ticket, combined with price hikes introduced by First Bus, are disproportionately affecting young people living rurally,

West of Scotland MSP Mr Greer said: “In East Renfrewshire, First Bus raising a number of fares, including a 40 per cent rise for those under 16, shows a private bus sector more interested in profit than serving communities.

“McGill’s have hiked fares for students by 50 per cent by cutting their student day ticket.

“For a young person in Neilston or Barrhead, for example, that’s around £20 more every month just to get to college or university for a couple of days each week.”

However, McGill’s managing director Ralph Roberts said that, without adjusting fares, the firm would have had to consider cancelling routes.

Meanwhile, First Bus encouraged passengers to switch to a new cashless service, with cheaper tickets available for those using a smartphone.