The Scottish Government’s plans to prioritise buses in its policies to tackle climate change has been welcomed by Bus Users. Around £500million will be made available for bus infrastructure as part of climate emergency measures to make buses in all towns and cities across Scotland ultra-low emission and carbon neutral. The programme is to be managed by Scottish local authorities, and delivered in partnership with bus operators.
“Scottish Government clearly see buses as part of the solution to climate change and is ready to take action to get people out of their cars and onto clean, green public transport,” says Claire Walters, chief executive, Bus Users. “Setting such ambitious targets and demonstrating a willingness to work with service providers will ensure we get the best possible outcome for passengers, and for the planet.”
Operators also welcomed the promises from the Scottish government. CPT Scotland said the government’s investment was “an investment in Scotland’s future” and would help people switch from the car to more sustainable bus travel.
“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,” adds CPT Scotland director Paul White. “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.
“Bus operators have demonstrated a commitment to invest in better buses for customers and communities. If there is political will among local authorities to work in partnership with bus companies and match that commitment it will be a win-win for the country.”