the number of people involved / size of the country / amount of resources required mean that offering free transport from (eg) Glasgow to Southampton for anyone who wants it would have astronomical costs.
It kind of ties in something I said on the HS2 thread yesterday - the way the world is going and comms are changing, being able to physically be in the same place as other people decreases in importance by the year from a work perspective.
I'm then completely unconvinced the state should have a role in subsidising free leisure travel for all those who want it.
There is definitely an argument for extending the 'free bus pass' program beyond pensioners, particularly within cities (I think Sheffield experimented with this successfully in the late 20th century from memory?) but I'm not convinced such an argument can be made for rural bus routes, or even those between small towns.
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