Better Buses News
What does the draft budget mean for buses?
So, what did yesterday’s draft budget mean for the buses? Well, let’s start with the good news – £2.5 million for low carbon buses. To date, the Green Bus Fund has invested over £6 million in Scotland’s low carbon bus fleet, putting an additional 74 of these greener buses on the roads (with First in Glasgow receiving cash for 10 double deckers). However, when you consider that the bus fleet Scotland-wide numbers in the thousands, this is a drop in the ocean. More money is welcome, but it’s simply not enough.
The bad news? Well, the Scottish Government’s wider transport priorities still seem to be all wrong. As Transform Scotland have highlighted, funding for roads continues to escalate, while overall funding for public transport stagnates. Indeed, this draft budget sees a small decline in funding for buses in real terms. Until bus services are seen as high priority, their potential social, economic and environmental benefits will go unrealised.