The Scottish Government is being urged to consider funding travel cards for Ukrainian refugees who have fled to Scotland.
The call comes from Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton, who says Holyrood must “commit to helping refugees rebuild their lives”.
Citing the importance of having access to transport in order to go to work and school, Cole-Hamilton has proposed a nationwide bus scheme which would provide Ukrainian refugees with free travel for at least three months.
Bus operator Stagecoach has already agreed to temporarily fund bus passes for an initial three-month period for refugees in Orkney but there is no national scheme in place.
The Lib Dems have also called on the Scottish Government to introduce a “back to school backpack” initiative to provide children from Ukraine with any necessary equipment they need as they join schools in Scotland after the summer break.
Cole-Hamilton said: “Scotland is at a critical moment as we welcome hundreds of Ukrainian refugees who have escaped the unimaginable horrors of a war that continues to rumble on.
“The Scottish Government must commit to helping refugees rebuild their lives here. Access to transport is vital because it allows refugees to take up jobs, get to school and keep in touch with family and friends.
“Councils are doing the best they can to support people, but their budgets have been cut year after year. That is why I am calling on the Scottish Government to fund a nationwide bus travel scheme to give Ukrainian refugees at least three months’ free travel.
“The people of Scotland have generously opened their homes and shown their love for the people of Ukraine, but the government’s response has been slow and bureaucratic. They must take pragmatic steps to support the futures and families of our refugees.”