Transport Scotland launches Community Bus Fund

The Scottish Government has launched the Community Bus Fund, to support local transport authorities to explore the options for bus services set out in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, and improve public transport in their areas.

More than £5 million is being made available as part of the shared policy programme with Green MSPs, with greater levels of support for rural local authorities who face different challenges to those in cities.

Recognising the unique challenges rural areas face, particularly for people on low incomes who rely more heavily on bus, the fund will support improved access to services, links between different modes of transport and using innovation such as new technology, as well as pilot projects to explore the powers in the Act.

Minister for Transport Fiona Hyslop said: “The Community Bus Fund is a great example of how partnership working can benefit people right across Scotland. My thanks go to the Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers and COSLA for their help in designing the fund.

“This complements our broader package of long term investment in bus including support for bus priority infrastructure and encouraging a shift to zero emission buses, together with the enhanced suite of options for local transport authorities to improve services according to their local needs, including formal partnerships, franchising and running their own bus services.

“The importance of collaboration with local authorities and bus operators cannot be understated if we are to create services fit for the future and achieve our climate change ambitions.”

Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie said: “I’m really pleased to see the ‘Bute House Agreement’ between the Scottish Government and Green MSPs produce another important tool to improve public transport across Scotland – particularly in rural areas.

“Improving access to bus services is essential if we are to place bus at the front of our just transition to net zero – supporting our world leading commitment to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030.

“The Fund is only one small part of how the Scottish Government is supporting active travel and public transport in Scotland but the combination of new funds and new powers can bring much bigger benefit.”


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