AN MSP has demanded the Scottish Government permanently discount CalMac ferry services for those eligible for a Young Scot National Entitlement Card.

Scottish Labour MSP Katy Clark, whose West Scotland region includes Arran and Cumbrae, has called for the change as part of the Scottish Government’s upcoming Fair Fares review.

Presently, islanders who are eligible for the card currently receive two free return journeys to the mainland each year.

However the politician, who has repeatedly campaigned for cheaper fares for island, described this as an “inequity” given bus travel is free for under-22s.

She added: “The Scottish Government has said it wants to attract and retain young people and young families to the islands.

“However, with season tickets now phased out, many islanders will be forking out more in the long term for the privilege of travelling home, which will do nothing to stem the exodus of young people to the mainland.

“Free bus travel for young Scots is a good thing, but there is an inequity when predominantly mainlanders benefit from such a scheme but daily ferry users pay full price most of the year.”

Following a separate parliamentary question, she also secured a commitment from the minister to introduce a convenience multi-journey ticket on the Largs-Cumbrae route.

The list MSP added: “The Fair Fares review must now be used to introduce a renewed multi-ticketing scheme for all islanders, along with a permanent discount for young ferry users.”