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Welsh bus funding continues to be paid

03 April 2020
 

The Welsh Government has announced a £29m package of support to help the bus industry through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scheme will see the Government pay existing Bus Service Support Grant, concessionary fares reimbursement and payments under the MyTravelPass scheme as if the virus outbreak had not occurred. 

Transport minister Ken Skates has also written to the Welsh Local Government Association recommending that councils continue to pay a minimum of 75 per cent of the contract value for school and other contracted local passenger services.

To receive the Government’s support, operators must commit to the following for the next three months:

  • scheduled services will operate a foundation timetable (contracts to be agreed with local authorities), sufficient to allow key workers to get to work and those without a car to get to shops for essential food and medical supplies
  • no bus will carry more than 50 per cent of its maximum capacity
  • all NHS workers who use a scheduled bus service will travel free of charge, matching what the Welsh Government has agreed for rail services
  • each operator will provide the Government and councils with a weekly report showing what routes have been run, what times buses arrived at each stop, how many passengers alighted, what the fare each passenger paid, etc. 

Industry body CPT Cymru said: “While this funding is a welcome step towards meeting operators’ costs, with an unprecedented fall in passenger numbers operators across Wales, additional support will be required to cover their costs to provide the service levels envisaged by the Welsh Government.” 

Stagecoach South Wales has withdrawn all Sunday services until further notice. 

 
 
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