YOU can't please all of the people all of the time.

While providing free bus travel for those aged 18 and under in Scotland makes sense with regards alleviating poverty; providing children with independence to travel without needing adults to taxi them about; and boosting Scotland's green credentials, not everyone is happy.

"Mobile gang huts," I saw someone lament online.

Oh to be young again and know that you are viewed with suspicion and dislike merely for your age. Imagine the nation's bus routes do turn into a network of mobile gang huts, full of boozed up teens terrorising elderly passengers and swinging from the fold up seats where buggies with innocent bairns are meant to fit.

At least they'd be off the streets, eh?

In my extensive bus experience, wild behaviour is normally the preserve of the adults aboard. Last week on my journey there were glorious scenes between a beleaguered mum and her grown up son. He insisted he would sit upstairs while she complained her knees wouldn't allow her to join him.

From half way along the bottom deck she screamed up to him, "Get yersel' down here." He would not budge and so the conversation was carried on between them as though they were in the house and he was shut in his bedroom, she insisting he come down for his tea.

"Ye cannae choose yer family, eh?" she aimed at a hipsterish young man behind her, in an attempt to strike up some bonhomie. He would have absolutely none of it and kept his gaze focused on his phone screen. Beautifully done.

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While I do not share the naysayer's concerns that the Scottish Government's plans for a National Concessionary Travel scheme for those aged 18 and under will lead to moving hotbeds of anti-social behaviour, I do think this policy has aimed and missed.

Or, perhaps, aimed and not landed at the feet of enough people.

Of course, it's a refreshing change to be using the bus itself to send a message rather than sticking meaningless messages on the sides of buses.

Bus use has fallen by 10 per cent over the past five years, data released this week by the Scottish Government shows. At the same time, car travel increased with a record number - three million - of cars now registered in Scotland.

Overall, journeys made by public transport have fallen by eight million over the past year.

People have a peculiar snobbery about bus travel that they do not have about trains. That quote, oft attributed to Margaret Thatcher, about bus travel being a sign of personal failure casts a long shadow. And there aren't leagues of bus spotters hanging about depots in the manner of locomotive lovers.

There seems to be a notion that buses are for the working classes, and not the respectable ones. Those who choose other modes of transport already seem to think the bus is a wild west wilderness and that's before the marauding young folk are added to the mix.

Bus clientele, though, are attracted by convenience. Not everyone lives near or within walking distance of a train station but most streets have a bus route to serve them.

Certainly the customer base is not attracted by a bargain. To travel by train from my home to Glasgow city centre is £1.90 for a return. To travel the same distance by bus is £5. That's a significant sum to travel just over one mile.

When I moved into my flat in 2011 the bus fare for a single was 90p and remained so for over a year. It's now £2.50, a 178 per cent increase.

I'm sure the operator would point out that I can get the fare marginally cheaper by downloading its app and purchasing tickets that way but to do so would involve buying an updated smart phone, which I'm not inclined to do. Nor should I be - bus travel should be affordable.

While the bus network is in the control of private companies, it will always be designed to serve profit over people. In Glasgow there have been several services threatened with the axe and others axed completely. First Glasgow says these routes are not well used enough to continue but, for those who do use them, they are a lifeline.

Were I still a teenager, the new concessionary scheme would be nothing to me because the bus route that serves the area of Coatbridge where I used to live has been stopped by First Glasgow. I used to take it in one direction to get to school and in the other direction to get into Glasgow for work.

It was vital because the local train line didn't - and didn't until 2014 - run on a Sunday, which is extraordinary when you stop to think about it.

The route that was stopped, the 2, was the only direct service from that part of Coatbridge in to Glasgow, the only direct service up to Airdrie and also served Monklands University Hospital, all the local supermarket, the main GP surgery and the town centre. Now the area is served by a selection of shuttle buses, some that don't run on a Sunday, some that take long weekends off and some that run once an hour.

I can't imagine it's a unique case but it does illustrate the need for buses to be publicly owned and designed to serve the public rather than monetise them.

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If one of the main aims of the National Concessionary Travel scheme is to improve the environment then extend it to make bus travel free for all. Driving is infinitely more convenient than taking the bus so it's no wonder that car journeys are on the increase.

Buses are slow and expensive. To get to a recent hospital appointment I could have driven in 11 minutes for 'free'. The bus takes 32 minutes and costs £4.70 for an all day ticket. Where is the inducement to spend nearly a fiver to sit for more than an hour on a bus when you can do a return commute in comfort for 20 minutes?

"Environment benefits" are an opaque concept to many commuters. So far government and local council policy has been to force drivers away from their cars by punishment - raising parking costs, say - when motorists may respond more to luring than force.

Raising fuel duty to make car use more unattractive is the right way to go but, once out of their cars, drivers need to know that money is being invested in a coherent, high quality and extensive bus service that preferably runs 24 hours.

Free travel for children is a solid start but the next step needs to be ensuring bus travel is still an attractive proposition once they hit the age of 19.