Bus operators welcome commitment to invest in improved infrastructure – ‘it is fantastic to see buses at the heart of the Scottish Government agenda’

 
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with pictured Scottish bus operators ahead of the PfG announcement

 

The Scottish Government this week announced a “landmark investment” of £500m to improve bus infrastructure across the country to encourage more people to use public transport.

The investment is part of the 2019/20 Programme for Government, which sets out the Scottish Government’s next steps to tackle climate change, following first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s acknowledgement of a global climate emergency earlier this year.

The Programme for Government pledges to “bring forward a step change in investment to make bus services greener and more punctual and reliable, so that more people make the choice to take the bus”.

In addition to the £500m investment in bus priority infrastructure, actions include “beginning plans to reallocate road space on parts of the motorway network around Glasgow to high occupancy vehicles such as buses”.

The Scottish Government is also proposing to work with the Scottish National Investment Bank, the bus sector and potential investors to explore options for new forms of financing “to radically accelerate the deployment of zero emission buses across Scotland”.

Scotland’s bus industry welcomed the government’s commitment to invest in improved infrastructure for buses.

“Congestion is the biggest issue holding back buses in our communities,” said CPT Scotland’s director, Paul White.

Reducing journey times will make buses more attractive for customers, reduce the number of cars on our roads, improve local air quality and free up resources to deliver improved bus networks and better value fares

“Reducing journey times will make buses more attractive for customers, reduce the number of cars on our roads, improve local air quality and free up resources to deliver improved bus networks and better value fares.

“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. As such, it is fantastic to see buses at the heart of the Scottish Government agenda.”

The Scottish Government will put in place plans to decarbonise railways by 2035. Detailed timescales and actions will be set out in spring 2020, including investment in electric trains.

This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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