The Scottish Government has announced that it will provide bus operators with additional financial assistance to maintain essential services. Environmental campaigners are calling for people working for the NHS and other essential services to be exempted from fares through this period.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Air Pollution Campaigner Gavin Thomson commented,

“Reliable public transport is key to managing this crisis and reducing our climate emissions. Government intervention will be central to achieving both these goals.

“This increased Scottish Government support recognises the key role that bus services play for critical workers, such as NHS staff. Government and industry should also be exploring whether those critical staff could be exempted from fares during this crisis.”

“Under the conditions of the lockdown, very few of us will be taking public transport at the moment and services are already being reduced. We echo the deserved praise for those public transport workers who are continuing to provide these vital public services throughout this period. Any government support for the bus industry during this crisis, or in future, should ensure these vital workers are prioritised and protected.”

Notes to Editors

1.The Scottish Government today announced emergency support for the Scottish bus industry https://www.transport.gov.scot/news/emergency-support-for-the-scottish-bus-industry/

2. Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.