The Bus Partnership Fund will support local authorities, in partnership with bus operators, to tackle the negative impact of congestion on bus services so that ourneys are quicker and more reliable. The aim is to encourage more people to travel by bus.
The Bus Partnership Fund will complement new powers in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019. It will enable local authorities, in partnership with bus operators, to work together to develop and deliver schemes that incorporate bus priority measures.
Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity Michael Matheson said: “I’m very pleased to launch our Bus Partnership Fund as part of our efforts to secure Scotland’s green recovery from Covid-19. I acknowledge the extreme pressures on local authorities and bus operators as we continue to negotiate our way through the current pandemic. However, in addition to providing emergency funding for operators right now, we are also looking to the future. We are committed to achieving a just and green recovery and I believe that supporting bus travel is key to that.
“As set out in the National Transport Strategy, the benefits of bus, particularly to addressing the climate emergency and tackling inequality, are clear. The Bus Partnership Fund is a key part of delivering on the priorities outlined in the Strategy. I believe that a strong partnership approach is essential and I want to see ambitious proposals placing bus priority at the heart of our sustainable transport future – linking with active travel alongside further action and investment from local authorities and bus operators.”
Paul White, director for CPT in Scotland, said: “Every £1 invested in bus priority can generate up to eight times that amount in wider economic, social and environmental benefits. So, investment in buses is an investment in Scotland's future.”