Further £63 million to maintain bus services in Scotland
Posted: 13 August 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The funding is said to be particularly important with the recent return of schools in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has approved additional expenditure of up to £63 million to support bus operators with maintaining bus services from 17 August until 8 November 2020.
This extends the support of up to £46.7 million which is being provided to increase bus services since 22 June. The funding aims to cover the expected loss of fare-paying passenger revenue that operators continue to experience due to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements and reduced carrying capacity – at a time where more people are travelling and more bus services are required.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, said: “With bus travel typically accounting for just under three quarters of all public transport journeys – this funding for bus services is vital in keeping Scotland moving during the COVID-19 crisis. People all over the country are reliant on bus services to access employment, health services and to see family and friends. This additional funding of up to £63 million seeks to support those people, by anticipating their needs and keeping them safe – by providing an uplift in bus services with physical distancing measures in place.
“While I will continue to do what I can to support our bus industry and our public transport network – it is important that the public continue to leave space on public transport for those that need it most.
“If you can work from home and access services locally – please do. Continue to walk, wheel or cycle for your health, our environment and to help manage demand on the transport network. If you need to travel on public transport, see if you can avoid peak times and try to plan ahead. Many larger bus operators have developed new applications to help you do this.
“That type of innovation at rapid pace is entirely characteristic of our transport operators and staff. Again, I would like to thank them for all the work they are doing help keep people moving and in helping passengers to plan ahead where they can during this public health emergency.”
Paul White, Director for the Confederation of Passenger Transport in Scotland, added: “CPT Scotland are pleased the Scottish Government has recognised the continued role the bus network plays in helping people return to work safely.
“This funding will enable the delivery of a comprehensive bus network in the coming weeks and months. The funding announced today will be critical to ensuring the right level of resources are in place to serve communities with the bus services they need.”
Bus & Coach
Confederation of Passenger Transport Scotland (CPT), Transport Scotland