A further £7.5 million in emergency funding for Edinburgh Trams and Glasgow Subway has been welcomed by the organisation representing the UK’s light rail sector.
The latest tranche of funding from Transport Scotland was announced today (Wednesday, March 24) and George Lowder, Chair of UKTram, says it will help to maintain vital services as operators continue to feel the financial impacts of the pandemic.
“Today’s announcement provides welcome confirmation of further support as the two systems continue to deliver services for essential and key workers, and those using the tram or subway to get to vaccination centres.
“With restrictions on travel, patronage and revenue has fallen to a fraction of pre-pandemic levels and this latest package of funding will ensure costs are covered from April to the end of June.”
Since the first coronavirus restrictions were put into place, UKTram, has been in constant dialogue with both the Scottish and UK Governments, providing them with timely information on the sector’s response to the crisis and the impact it continues to have on operations and revenue.
The latest announcement by Transport Scotland brings the total amount of funding for Edinburgh Trams and Glasgow Subway to £28.5m and follows detailed discussions with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and Transport for Edinburgh.
Together with partners from across the light rail sector, UKTram has also played a key role in securing £193 million from the Department for Transport for systems serving cities in England.
Mr Lowder, who is also Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh, added: “While restrictions are set to be eased over the coming months, the impacts of the pandemic are set to be felt for a long time to come and the constructive talks are set to continue as the sector will face a lot of uncertainty over the summer.”