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Opened 8 months ago

#1649 new defect

Warning over bus fare hikes if Covid grant ended

Reported by: anonymous Owned by: somebody
Priority: major Milestone:
Component: component1 Version:
Keywords: Cc:


Warning over bus fare hikes if Covid grant ended

Bus operators have claimed fares will rise and services slashed if its Scottish government funding is cut.

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A temporary grant put in place to support the industry through the Covid pandemic is due to end on 9 October.

The industry said soaring costs and passenger numbers not returning to pre-pandemic levels meant taking the grant away would have "severe consequences".

But the Scottish government said it was facing "an extremely challenging financial landscape".

A Transport Scotland spokesman said it had provided up to £210m in emergency funding to support bus services during the pandemic.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) Scotland - a trade association representing bus and coach companies - said passenger numbers were on average about 80% of pre-pandemic levels.

For concessionary passengers it was worse with 60% to 65% fewer trips being taken by older free pass holders.

In June, Scottish ministers extended the Network Support Grant (NSG) Plus to October with £25.7m of funding.

CPT Scotland surveyed its members on the likely actions they would take should NSG Plus end in October.

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