Bus services are “on the brink of collapse” due to unreliable and unaffordable fares, it is claimed.

West Scotland MSP Neil Bibby, who represents East Renfrewshire as part of his remit, has urged the Scottish Government to introduce a cap on fares to prevent passengers seeking alternative transport.

Some 130 operators in England have signed up to cap fares at £2 for the first three months of the year, with Mr Bibby, who is also Scottish Labour’s transport spokesman, keen to see similar action closer to home.

He said: “The bus services people need every day to get to their work and move around their communities are on the brink of collapse.

“As a result, more and more people are being forced into cars by unreliable and overpriced services.

“In order to get people back on the buses, we should follow the lead Labour mayors have set in England to cap fares and make public transport affordable once again.

“In Scotland, passengers are paying rip-off fares to private bus companies, such as £2.65 for a two-mile journey in greater Glasgow.

“Our communities, our economy and our planet need a working bus network which is affordable and reliable.

"Services will continue to decline unless we take serious action and provide better, cheaper buses.”

However, Scottish Government agency Transport Scotland has highlighted the support already in place for bus passengers.

A spokeswoman said: “We invest £300million annually to deliver free bus travel for all children and young people under 22, as well as for eligible disabled people and everyone aged 60 and over.

“This means Scotland has the most generous concessionary fare scheme in the UK, encouraging more people to choose to take the bus and helping us meet our net-zero targets by encouraging a shift away from cars.

“We are progressing the Fair Fares Review to ensure a sustainable and integrated approach to fares that supports the long-term viability of our public transport system as we recover from the pandemic.

“The review is considering both the cost and availability of services and the range of discounts and concessionary schemes.”