The Scottish Government have announced that a further round of funding is to be made available to Edinburgh Trams and the Glasgow Subway taking into account the ongoing financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and falling revenue due to low passenger numbers. In total £8 million will be split between the two systems.
The funding package is now in place until the end of March 2021 and means that a total of £21 million has now been provided by the Scottish Government since the pandemic began. It hasn’t been announced how the cash is to be split but based on previous rounds of funding the Subway is likely to get a larger share.
Michael Mathieson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said: “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. The light rail networks in Glasgow and Edinburgh continue to play a part in this ongoing sustainable transport response and will be crucial in the longer term social and economic recovery to provide essential links within Scotland’s two largest cities. The support to date has enabled these light rail networks to carry over 2 million trips since July, further demonstrating the importance of these services. Glasgow and Edinburgh are expected to see significant financial constraint over the coming months and as such we are providing further financial assistance until the end of the financial year to enable services to continue. I would again like to thank all the people working across the light rail sector who have, and continue to, provide services for key workers and others who needed to travel for essential journeys to do so during very challenging circumstances.”
George Lowder, Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh, added: “The city’s tramway is a key component of Edinburgh’s transport system. 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. We hope that, in the near future, we will be able to welcome back all our customers on board. In the meantime, I’d like to thank our customers and our colleagues for their unwavering support.”