COVID-19 - Bus Emergency Scheme Continuation of Services
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Welsh Government has continued to fund bus services, firstly through maintaining a skeleton network to support essential journeys, and more recently additional funding to ramp up services to support the re-opening of schools and the wider economy. This is in addition to wider transport measures including support for rail services and additional active travel measures.
Further to the announcement last month of an additional £10m of funding to support the provision of a fuller service from September, Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, was yesterday, pleased to announce that the Welsh Government is making available an additional £84.6m of funding to maintain and develop these enhanced levels of service for the rest of the financial year, while reduced demand and capacities significantly affect ticket revenues. This will bring Welsh Government’s total support for bus services this year to £140m.
Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, said, “We want bus services to be meeting the needs of passengers, even in these challenging times. Our continued funding demonstrates our commitment to getting as many services as possible running in a safe way.
“The funding will provide some longer-term stability, and given ongoing uncertainties we’ll continue to work closely with local authorities and bus operators to deliver services.
“Buses play a vital role in connecting communities and helping people access shops, education, work and leisure. We remain committed to providing the necessary support to ensure efficient services in the short, medium and long-term.”
Given the uncertainties around future passenger demand, ticket revenues, and possible lockdown measures, the Welsh Government will continue to work closely with local authorities and bus operators to anticipate future funding requirements and structures for the delivery of public support for bus services.