Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport
Through the Covid-19 pandemic, we have supported the Bus industry to keep essential services running and allow key workers to get to work to help keep our society functioning and to provide support and care to those in need. We will continue this support as we take the first steps out of the lockdown and demand for public transport returns.
The ‘Bus Emergency Scheme (BES) 2’ is a key part of our support as we move forward. It is an agreement between bus operators, local authorities, Transport for Wales and the Welsh Government and provides the basis of partnership working to deliver better services.
Under the terms of the agreement operators will be required to provide bus services that meet local needs. It will ensure operators are incentivised to support the recovery of the whole network, improve standards, and build a lasting partnership with the public sector.
Included with this agreement is an additional £37.2 million of funding to continue to support the bus industry in the coming financial year. This will give further reassurance to bus operators, enabling them to plan for the future. This is in addition to the £90 million which the Welsh Government already spends annually on supporting the industry and enabling concessionary travel.
BES2 will ensure the support provided to bus operators is more closely aligned with Llwybr Newydd, the Welsh Government’s new transport strategy. It will set the foundation for the more detailed National Bus Strategy which will be prepared to support Llwybr Newydd and will set out the Welsh Government’s plans for further reform of the bus industry.