The Scottish Government has confirmed additional funding of £25.7 million is being provided to extend recovery funding for our bus sector.
The Network Support Grant (NSG) Plus, a temporary scheme intended to support the bus network as we recover from the pandemic, has been extended until October 2022.
NSG Plus aims to support services and protect fares while patronage continues to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
This funding is in addition to wider support, which includes funding for bus priority infrastructure, improved data services and ticketing options, the National Concessionary Travel Scheme and free bus travel for all under 22s.
This funding is in addition to the £93.5 million allocated to support bus services this year. We had already provided up to £210 million to bus operators up to 31 March 2022 to maintain bus services over the course of the pandemic.
With patronage growing and more young people continuing to take advantage of free bus travel, support will evolve and NSG Plus will cease at the end of this extended period of support in October.
Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth said:
“We continue to deliver on our commitment to provide additional recovery funding and we have supported bus operators through the most difficult periods of the pandemic.
“As services continue to recover, this additional £25.7 million will support our bus sector to continue to navigate their way through and out of the pandemic.
“This in in addition to the up to £210 million we have already provided that has ensured our bus operators are well positioned and at the forefront of our green recovery. Looking ahead, it’s important that the support we give transport operators continues to adapt and evolve to make sure it remains fit for purpose.
“Over 10 million journeys have been made since January through the provision of free bus travel to U22s. We continue to invest in bus priority infrastructure and have offered local authorities flexible powers to work in partnership with operators should they wish.
“For our health, our climate and our communities, we will continue to support our bus industry and encourage the shift away from cars and towards sustainable public transport.”