Scottish government extends post-pandemic recovery funding for buses

Posted: 22 June 2022 | | No comments yet

With the additional £25.7 million funding, the Scottish government aims to support bus services and protect fares while patronage continues to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Credit: Transport Scotland - the Scottish Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth.

The Scottish government has announced that it is providing additional funding of £25.7 million to extend recovery funding for the country’s bus sector.

The Network Support Grant (NSG) Plus, a temporary scheme intended to support the bus network in its recovery from the pandemic, has been extended until October 2022. NSG Plus aims to support services and protect fares while patronage continues to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding is in addition to the £93.5 million that has been allocated to support bus services throughout 2022, which includes funding for bus priority infrastructure, improved data services and ticketing options, the National Concessionary Travel Scheme and free bus travel for all under 22s.

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The Scottish government had already provided up to £210 million to bus operators until 31 March 2022, to maintain bus services over the course of the pandemic. With patronage growing and more young people continuing to take advantage of free bus travel, support will evolve and NSG Plus will cease at the end of this extended period of support in October.

“We continue to deliver on our commitment to provide additional recovery funding and we have supported bus operators through the most difficult periods of the pandemic. As services continue to recover, this additional £25.7 million will support our bus sector to continue to navigate their way through and out of the pandemic,” said Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth. “Over 10 million journeys have been made since January through the provision of free bus travel to U22s. We continue to invest in bus priority infrastructure and have offered local authorities flexible powers to work in partnership with operators should they wish. For our health, our climate and our communities, we will continue to support our bus industry and encourage the shift away from cars and towards sustainable public transport.”