Last reviewed 29 June 2022

Transport Scotland has confirmed that it is extending the Network Support Grant Plus (NSG+) to assist bus sector recovery after Covid-19 until 9 October 2022.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) Scotland has welcomed the news, saying that it will help bus passengers and provide space for operators to plan for the future.

Grant funding was introduced to help cover the difference between reduced revenue and increasing costs, largely due to the continuing impact of Covid-19. The £40 million scheme was front-loaded to give support to the network primarily over the first four months of the financial year but, in May, the CPT was informed that the scheme would probably end early.

Since then, it has been working with its members to make the case to the Scottish Government that this vital grant needed to continue at current rates to provide a protective road map through the summer.

CPT Scotland Director, Paul White, said: “By working constructively with Transport Scotland and securing this funding, CPT Scotland hopes bus operators now have the certainty and time to carefully consider what routes and services may look like in a world where transport needs are evolving, making sure they provide the best possible services to passengers.”

With driver shortages, surging fuel, energy, maintenance and staff costs, along with supressed passenger numbers, he also pointed out that the bus sector is facing the most challenging landscape it has ever faced.