Welsh Government unveils £69m support package for bus operators

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NHS workers will benefit from free bus travel

The Welsh Government has pledged £69m of funding for the nation’s bus operators to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the support package, the Government is also granting free bus travel for NHS workers.

The package will be paid to operators on a monthly basis for the next three months, replacing all existing grant funding arrangements temporarily.

In order to receive the funding, operators must adhere to three key rules:

  • Construct timetables – with contracts to be agreed with councils – which provide enough buses to allow critical workers to get to work and those without a car to get to shops for essential food and medical supplies;
  • No bus is to carry more than 50% of its maximum capacity; and
  • To match the offer announced on Transport for Wales (TfW) rail services, all NHS workers who use a scheduled bus service will travel free of charge.

Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates said: “Our rail franchise provider, bus companies and community transport operators – many of which are small businesses and charities – are facing significant financial challenges.

“This support will give public transport operators the initial funding they need to continue to deliver services, pay employees and sub-contractors.”