Parents should delay applying for free bus passes for their children unless their travel is “essential”, the Scottish Government has warned, as the rollout of the flagship scheme was branded confusing.

The policy of free bus travel for under-22s, which aims to encourage young people onto public transport, was announced by the Scottish Government last year and officially opened to applications on Monday.

But a letter was sent out to parents in some council areas on Monday morning asking them to delay applications unless their travel is essential. The Government has said the move is due to high levels of Covid transmission.

Critics have warned the change could confuse parents and leave local councils being “bombarded” by enquiries about what constitutes “essential”.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Politics Matters

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and join the fightback against Scottish Nationalism.