AN ALCOHOL recovery unit in Ayr has backed calls for drug and alcohol addicts to have free bus travel in Scotland.

Ayrshire Council on Alcohol support the idea after politicians in Westminster engaged in a discussion last week on options to tackle the widespread drug abuse problem. They believe that addicts who live out with Ayr in rural areas would be able to access support easier.

Kerry McGee of the support group told the Ayr Advertiser: “Ayrshire Council on Alcohol would support access to free or affordable public transport for those individuals attending for counselling.

“Accessing services for support is a vital aspect of most people’s recovery. It gives them a focus and can put much needed structure and routine back into their lives.”

“People who engage in counselling support and recovery initiatives are more likely to make sustained long term changes and improve their overall health and lifestyle therefore it is important wherever possible to remove barriers such as lack of finance for travelling to allow individuals travel to their appointments and recovery activities.

In 2015 a drug support group in Aberdeenshire worked alongside Transport Scotland to give those battling with addiction free bus travel.

The case study by Aberdeen alcohol and drug partnership was put to MPs and claimed: “Access to affordable transport is fundamental to most people’s recovery and is an important part of ensuring health and social care services work efficiently.”

We asked our readers what they thought of drug addicts receiving free bus travel.

One person thought free bus travel should be given to support those actively looking for work or struggling as a single parent.

Vicky Martin said: “Maybe give free bus travel for those looking for work... those who have to travel for non-paid placement like nursing students.”

Nicole Mc added: “Why do drugs addicts get everything free? What about those hard-working people who are putting into the system and get nothing back?”

Martyn Cooksey said: “Addiction is a disease and if they are willing to help themselves overcome it then by all means, give them a bus pass in order to support them.”