Scottish bus support extended until March

Scottish Government is providing additional expenditure of up to £29m to help bus operators maintain services during the coronavirus pandemic.

The extra funding extends the support for bus services already provided of up to £162.3m since June.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, said: “We know how vital bus services are in keeping Scotland moving during the challenges faced by the Covid-19 pandemic – ensuring people can travel to work, access health services, or visit their loved ones.

“This additional funding of up to £29m on top of the £162.3m already committed since June will enable bus operators to maintain bus services. The funding fills the gap between the additional costs of running services due to Covid-19 and severely reduced ticket income due to reduced demand from fare-paying passengers and the impact of physical distancing measures.

“While we remain committed to supporting our transport network and doing all we can to help the bus industry deliver services, we also ask the public to follow the latest travel guidance and walk, wheel or cycle wherever they can.

“With the public’s help we can provide safe public transport while protecting public health.”

Paul White, Director of Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (Scotland), added: “We welcome the Scottish Government’s continued recognition of the important role the bus network plays in facilitating sustainable travel for essential journeys and in enabling social inclusion.

“CPT and our operator members will continue working with passengers, businesses and local authorities to provide a safe, flexible bus network through this extended period of support.”

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