Scottish government awards funding to support three bus partnerships

Posted: 17 February 2022 | | No comments yet

As part of a series of measures to increase public transport use across the country, the Scottish government’s £800,000 funding will help bus operators and local authorities to improve services in their region.

Scottish government allocates funding for three new bus partnerships

Transport Scotland has announced that the Scottish government has allocated over £800,000 in funding to support three bus partnerships in bringing forward improvements to bus services in their local area. The Argyll and Bute Bus Partnership, Midlothian Bus Alliance and West Lothian Bus Alliance have now joined eight other partnerships involving 28 local authorities across Scotland.

Supported through the Bus Partnership Fund, local authorities and bus operators are joining forces to implement bus priority measures. These include bus lanes, guided busways and traffic light prioritisation – all designed to make services quicker, more reliable and more attractive as an alternative to the car.

Funding from the government for bus priority infrastructure comes with the expectation that investment is also made by partners to make bus travel more attractive to the public. This could involve ticket offers, investment in fleets or parking restrictions that would help to improve the overall bus offer in the region.

The Scottish Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth, said: “I’m pleased that these three new bus partnerships are making plans to improve bus services and have won funding through our flagship Bus Partnership Fund. We’ve invested heavily to keep buses running during the pandemic – but we need to go further to put buses at the heart of our green recovery, helping to tackle inequalities and to keep Scotland moving.”

“We’re incentivising bus travel through the provision of free bus travel to under 22s. We’re also supporting bus operators’ transition to modern zero-emission vehicles. The next step is to unshackle our buses from the congestion on our roads and provide those quicker, more reliable journeys that will ensure more people make the choice of bus over the car,” she added.

Gilruth concluded: “Our action on concessionary travel and on bus decarbonisation – underpinned by over half a billion pounds in long term funding for bus priority infrastructure – will support communities, businesses and our environment by ensuring that taking the bus is one of the best ways to travel.”

The Bus Partnership Fund complements the powers in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, enabling local transport authorities, in partnership with bus operators, to work together to develop and deliver ambitious bus priority schemes to tackle the negative impacts of congestion on bus services.