Scottish bus services get new £35m bailout

The Scottish Government has approved additional funding of up to £35.4m to enable bus operators to maintain services.

The cash is for the period from 28 June to 3 October and is to cover the shortfall caused by the additional operational costs due to COVID-19 and the loss of fare revenue due to physical distancing and reduced demand.

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It extends the support of up to £61.4m that the devolved administration has already made available in 2021-22, with up to £191.3m available in 2020-21.

Minister for transport Graeme Dey said: ‘Bus services have played a vital role in keeping Scotland moving safely during the coronavirus pandemic - helping people attend vaccination appointments and other essential travel, as well as starting to return to some sense of normality.’

Paul White, director for the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) in Scotland, said: ‘CPT welcomes the Scottish Government’s continued recognition of the important role the bus network plays in facilitating essential travel for key workers, links to vaccination centres, and as an accessible, sustainable mode of transport for the growing number of passenger journeys.

‘This funding extension will help meet the costs associated with running the network at a reduced capacity. CPT will continue to engage with the Scottish Government to ensure that bus services provision meets increasing demand as we transition out of COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing.’

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