The Scottish Government has approved the allocation of up to a further £61.4m through its COVID-19 Support Grant – Restart mechanism to support bus services in Scotland over the 12-week period between 1 April and 27 June.
As with previous rounds of grant support, the latest award will plug the gap between reduced revenue and operating costs. It follows £29m that is enabling services to continue between 18 January and 31 March, and multiple previous allocations.
A maximum of £191.3m was made available by the Scottish Government the purpose of supporting bus services in the 2020/21 financial year. Operators may not return a profit while receiving the grant, and it is subject to reconciliation exercises at least every 12 weeks. Because of that, the Scottish Government forecasts that the actual spend in the current financial year will be £144.5m.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson says the Scottish Government will “continue to all we can to support our bus industry and our public transport network,” adding that buses “have been absolutely vital in keeping Scotland moving safely during the COVID-19 pandemic – most recently, helping people to attend vaccination appointments.”