The Scottish Government will provide bus operators with additional assistance to maintain essential services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Transport Scotland said the intention was to maintain concessionary travel reimbursement and Bus Service Operator Grant payments at the levels forecast prior to the impact of the virus.
Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity Michael Matheson said: “Figures from Transport Scotland analysts show that concessionary bus journeys in particular had dropped by 81 per cent in the last two weeks – and I would expect this to fall even further in light of the latest guidance.”
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has issued guidance recommending that councils continue to pay operators for home-to-school transport.
Paul White, director for the Confederation of Passenger Transport in Scotland, welcomed the Government’s funding pledge. “Operators are working tirelessly to ensure that Scotland’s bus network is robust enough to keep communities connected, providing socially necessary services and facilitating commuter trips for essential workers. To this end, we will continue to prioritise key routes such as those that serve medical centres and hospitals, with timetables that recognise NHS shift patterns.”
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