CPT Cymru calls for further funding to deliver “emergency bus network” 30/03/2020

CPT Cymru, the bus industry representative body in Wales, has highlighted that further funding will be required or bus operators will be unable to deliver an emergency bus network across Wales during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Proposals announced this weekend state that in return for financial support from the Welsh Government, bus operators will need to commit to continue to provide a timetabled service that is agreed with local authorities, all NHS staff to receive free travel and no bus will be at more than 50% capacity.

But, with unprecedented falls in passenger numbers across Wales, from pre pandemic levels CPT Cymru, which represents the vast majority of small, medium and large operators across Wales, has warned that without additional support to cover their costs operators will be unable to provide the service being envisaged.

A CPT Cymru spokesperson said:

“CPT Cymru welcomes the Welsh Government’s recognition of the crucial role of bus services during the pandemic. Many operators have already been playing their part in the national effort to tackle Covid-19 by providing free bus services to NHS staff and we look forward to rolling this out across the country.”

“While this funding is a welcome step towards meeting operators’ costs, with an unprecedented fall in passenger numbers operators across Wales, additional support will be required to cover their costs to provide the service levels envisaged by the Welsh Government.

“With the Secretary of State for Transport confirming last week that further measures will be forthcoming in the coming days for England we need to see the Welsh Government taking similar action to  meet these costs in full so that we can maintain an emergency national network for key workers.”