Covid-19 (Transport)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 26th May 2020.

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Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

The member will be aware of my earlier response on the economic impact of capacity constraints on the bus industry, including operators such as First Glasgow. We are assessing the financial impact that any increase in service could have on operators and whether financial support needs to be provided to sustain services, given that operators will effectively be making a loss when they run services on which capacity is so constrained. We are taking that piece of work forward.

Bus operators have been looking to increase frequency of services on routes where there has been greater demand. First Glasgow introduced double-decker buses, where they had initially been operating with a single decker, to support physical distancing, and has looked at increasing the frequency of service on particular routes, where demand has increased.

Those are issues on which the transport transition plan looks to support operators, including regional transport partnerships such as the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, to ensure that they engage with transport providers in areas such as Glasgow and look at the arrangements that they have put in place to help to meet demand. We continue to consider those issues. I assure the member that the guidance that has been published today for the public and for operators and their staff helps to give operators assurance on the approach that they should take in dealing with such issues.