Wales buses to receive £84.6m
Wales’ bus industry is to receive an additional £84.6 million of Welsh Government funding. The money is aimed at helping companies meet the challenges of coronavirus and run more services.
In August, £10 million was confirmed to help transport more people to school, college and work. Today’s funding announcement is the largest of its type and brings total support to £140 million.
The funding is also another step from emergency funding and towards longer-term planning and an integrated system. A new agreement, the Bus Emergency Scheme, was recently created to manage funding to the industry. The scheme brings together Welsh Government, Transport for Wales, local authorities and bus operators to reshape Wales’ bus network and ensure funding puts the needs of passengers first.
Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, said: “We want bus services to be meeting the needs of passengers, even in these challenging times. Our continued funding demonstrates our commitment to getting as many services as possible running in a safe way.
“The funding will provide some longer-term stability, and given ongoing uncertainties we’ll continue to work closely with local authorities and bus operators to deliver services.”
“Buses play a vital role in connecting communities and helping people access shops, education, work and leisure. We remain committed to providing the necessary support to ensure efficient services in the short, medium and long-term.”
John Pockett, Director of CPT Cymru, said: “This further government funding is very welcome to the bus industry which has faced a catastrophic decline in passenger numbers and revenues as a result of this awful pandemic. Working with our partners in the Welsh Government and Local Authorities, bus operators want to increase services for passengers as activities and the economy start to resume, and this financial support is a great boost in that aim for the coming months. It shows the recognition by the Government of the importance of bus services to local communities and to the Welsh economy.”