More cash for buses in East Dunbartonshire

Bus operators in East Dunbartonshire are to benefit from a share of £42 million in public funding over next six months.

More funds for buses
More funds for buses
More funds for buses

Scottish Transport minister Graeme Dey said the money, which is being made available from October 4, would help operators “fill the gap” between the cost of running services and reduced revenues as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Strathkelving and Bearsden Rona Mackay MSP says she welcomes the news that the cash will enable bus operators to maintain services in East Dunbartonshire.

The SNP MSP said bus services have been a crucial way of getting people around safely in her constituency throughout the pandemic, adding that their role “will become ever more important as we emerge from the pandemic and build a greener country.”

This announcement from the Scottish Government on Thursday is in addition to maintaining concessionary reimbursement and bus service operator grant payments at pre-COVID levels, and free bus travel for under-22s.

Ms Mackay said: “Public transport in East Dunbartonshire has never been more important - throughout the past 18 months it is has been a lifeline to many and will continue to help Scotland reach its world leading climate targets.

“Buses in Strathkelvin and Bearsden not only help us all get around but with some providers having transformed some of their fleet into vaccination buses, they’re assisting in combating coronavirus.

"I thank everyone involved in this initiative which is helping us gradually start to return to normality.

“I’m pleased the Scottish Government has recognised that additional support is still currently required to support our buses as we recover and I’m sure it will be welcome news across my constituency.”

Mr Dey said that while passenger numbers had grown in Scotland, following the success of the vaccination campaign and the easing of many coronavirus restrictions, this “additional support” was still required.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport in Scotland welcomed the cash. Director Paul White said it was “continued recognition of the vital role the bus network plays and the requirement to extend support while Covid impact continues to suppress passenger numbers”.