Scottish Liberal Democrat climate crisis spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today condemned ministers for failing to adequately support councils to run local bus operators, following a Scottish Daily Express freedom of information request which shows that the Scottish Government has not provided any additional funding for councils to manage local bus services.
Last month, Transport Secretary Jenny Gilruth announced that the SNP had given local authorities the power to run local bus services. This was made possible by the introduction of section 34 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019.
However, in response to a freedom of information request from the Scottish Daily Express, the Scottish Government stated that "no additional funding has been offered to local transport authorities to run their own bus services following the commencement of section 34 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019."
Responding to the freedom of information request revelation, Mr McArthur commented:
“Once again, we see the SNP failing to walk their own talk.
“Allowing local councils to run their own bus services was heralded as a great leap forward in bus provision in Scotland.
“The reality is that SNP ministers have failed to back this up with any new resources at a time when they are cutting council budgets.
“Given the climate crisis, we need to see real action from ministers to encourage greater use of public transport and active travel. Instead, once again, this SNP government is only interested in claiming the credit and grabbing the headlines, while leaving local authorities to pick up the pieces and take the blame.”
Notes to editors:
The Express article can be found here