Scottish Government announces a further £52.6m to maintain bus services

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The Scottish Government has approved additional expenditure of up to £52.6m to support bus operators to maintain services during the coronavirus pandemic. The new funding, to cover expected loss of revenue between 9 November and 17 January, extends the support of up to £109.7m provided to increase bus services since June.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “Bus services have been absolutely vital in keeping Scotland moving during the Covid-19 pandemic – helping people get to work, access health services and see family and friends.

“This additional funding of up to £52.6m will help operators to cover the expected loss of fare-paying passenger revenue that they continue to experience due to physical distancing requirements and reduced demand.

“While we will continue to do all we can to support our bus industry and our public transport network, it is important that the public continues to follow the most up-to-date travel guidance and to walk, wheel or cycle where possible. Together we can create a safe environment to travel and navigate our way through this public health emergency.”

Director for CPT in Scotland, Paul White said: “We’re pleased that the Scottish Government has recognised the important role the bus network is playing in helping people travel safely and in a sustainable manner.

“This funding is designed to cover the costs associated with the running of a network with significantly reduced capacity until passenger numbers are able to return to normal levels. We will continue working with government, passengers, businesses and local authorities to provide a safe, flexible bus network which allows those who need it to make their essential journeys.”

The Scottish Government has announced further funding to cover loss of revenue in the coming months. GORDON SCOTT