finance

Bus operators get £52.6m to cover lost income



Extra funding of up to £52.6m is being offered to Scottish bus companies to cover their lost income during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Scottish Government has extended its support to bus operators, meaning they will have received up to £109.7m since June to increase bus services.

The additional £52.6m will be used to cover lost revenue between November 9 and January 17.

It will be used to help make up for the decline in fare-paying passengers as well as the need for physical distancing on buses.

Transport Secretary 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 £52.6 million 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 continue 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.”

Paul White, director of the Confederation of Passenger Transport in Scotland, 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 news comes after Edinburgh Trams and Glasgow Subway were given an additional £4m to share to help them continue to run services.

However, the company behind Glasgow Subway said its share of the money would not be enough to prevent potential cuts to services.



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