Additional £63m to keep Scotland’s bus services moving

The Scottish Government has approved an additional expenditure of up to £63 million to keep bus services running until November.

Friday, 7th August 2020, 2:05 pm
The funding will 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.

This is on top of £46m, which was provided to increase bus services from June 22, to cover the expected loss of revenue affecting bus operators due to coronavirus and physical distancing requirements affecting passenger capacity.

With schools returning next week, the government is appealing for people to ensure the currently reduced transport network can continue to operate effectively.

Transport secretary 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 £63m 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.”

CPT director Paul White 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.”

Guidance on how and when to travel is available on the Transport Scotland website and there is a journey planner available here.