Government extends coronavirus support for buses and trams, as total funding tops £700 million

Government extends coronavirus support for bus and tram operators across England as part of wider efforts to safely get people back to education and work spaces
New model will provide rolling support for bus operators with up to £218.4 million guaranteed over the next eight weeks
Five tram systems in the North and Midlands also to receive funding of up to £37.4 million over the next 12 weeks
England’s bus and tram services will receive extra support worth up to £256 million to help them ramp up services ahead of expected increases in public transport use in September, the Government has announced today (Saturday 8 August).

Bus services across the country will receive up to £218.4 million of support over the next eight weeks, with rolling funding at up to £27.3 million per week afterwards until a time when the funding is no longer needed.

Alongside this, tram services have access from today to up to £37.4 million investment over 12 weeks, at a rate of up to £3.1 million a week, with funding to be reviewed at the end of the 12-week period.

Currently, passenger numbers on bus and light rail services are significantly below normal levels, despite the bus network now running at over 80% of normal service levels, and the five light rail systems running at similar levels. The funding announced today will enable operators to mitigate the impact of the loss of revenue, while continuing to build back to normal service levels.

The latest round of funding – key to safely getting young people back in education settings and workers back to their offices – means total support during the pandemic for bus and tram services will reach at least £700 million. This follows the £421 million already provided for buses and the £56 million provided for trams during the pandemic.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:

“As we continue to open up the economy, more people are using public transport and need sufficient service levels in order to travel safely.

“That’s why we took swift action at the start of this outbreak to ensure that these services were maintained for key workers then – and would still be there for people when the economy opened back up. This extension of funding pushes our overall support past £700 million, meaning people across the country will have access to the transport services they need.”

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