The Scottish Government is to provide a further £8 million (EUR 8.85 million) of emergency funding for Glasgow Subway and Edinburgh Trams in response to the on-going financial impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic.
“We continue to see reduced capacity on public transport with travel restrictions and physical distancing in place however we still need to ensure services continue for those that need to travel for essential purposes,” Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said.
This latest emergency funding brings the total light rail support available up to £21 million (EUR 23.2 million) and this will now be in place the end of March 2021.
“This funding allows us to continue to carry essential and key workers, those who cannot work from home and those who need to travel to school or study through the Spring, as we continue to deal with Covid-19. Providing everyone continues to follow the guidance in place, we are confident trams are a safe mode of transport,” Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh, George Lowder explained.
This emergency funding announcement follows detailed discussions with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and Edinburgh Trams regarding available resources due to the unprecedented impact that Covid 19 has had on travel demand.
In October, the government has provided Glasgow Subway and Edinburgh Trams a £4 million (EUR 4.4 million) funding due to the financial problems the two companies face. In July, the authorities have also offered a £9 million (EUR 9.95 million) that helped to support the transport services in 2020.
“While 2021 will undoubtedly be another challenging year, this funding contributes towards covering the financial costs and losses which we face until passenger numbers recover,” SPT Chair, Councillor Martin Bartos said.
The financial support provided enabled the light rail networks to carry over 2 million trips since July.