New safety measures

Cash help to persuade more to use public transport

Trams, trains and buses are among those being targeted

New measures have been announced to persuade nervous commuters and shoppers back on to public transport.

The Scottish Government is making £7 million available to help combat fears that buses, trains, trams and taxis are a potential source of COVID-19 infection.

Operators will have access to the Public, School and Community Transport COVID-19 Mitigation Fund to provide more driver screens, sanitisers and air conditioning units.

It will allow them to increase capacity and boost public confidence in using public transport and is available for buses, taxis and private hire vehicles, trams, subway and local ferries and planes that are used for public, school and community transport.

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Public attitude data indicates that concerns about using public transport remain high, though this has decreased compared to previous waves. A quarter of people saying they will make more journeys by public transport now more places are open.

Demand for public transport continues to be significantly lower compared to last year, with usage in the first week of August down by between 50% and 75%. Concessionary bus travel increased by around 5%.

Rail demand continues to be down compared to last year though it was up 15% against the previous week.

Car traffic also remains down on last year, but there continues to be week-on-week growth.

Ferry passenger and vehicle carryings are significantly down on last year, but there was a week-on-week increase in passenger and car numbers. Passenger carryings increased by around 10% on Calmac routes and 30% on Northlink routes against the previous week.

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