Phone line tackles bus scheme fraud

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THE Scottish Government has unveiled the latest weapon in its fight to prevent abuse of the free bus travel scheme.

A 24-hour free “fraudbuster” phone line has been set up which will target companies engaged in the practice of overstaging.

This is a fraudulent practice that involves passengers being issued tickets for longer journeys than they actually make, The bus firm then recoups more public money from Transport Scotland, who administer the scheme.

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of complaints about the £187 million scheme, which provides around 148 million free bus trips each year.

Infrastructure Secretary Alex Neil said: “We know people want to report abuse of the scheme but are unsure where to turn. This phone line will ensure they are able to give us that information.”