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New Scottish light rail funding is ‘disappointing’

THE Scottish Government is providing a further £4 million of emergency funding for Glasgow Subway and Edinburgh Trams in response to the pandemic and the revenue shortfalls which have resulted, but the chairman of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport has described the award as ‘disappointing’.

The award is the second of its kind, because it follows initial support worth £9 million which was agreed in July, after the Scottish Government had been criticised for not taking the same action as the Westminster government. This had been supporting the former National Rail franchises and other public transport in England since the spring and continues to do so.

The new Scottish funding for the Subway and trams is intended to last until the end of the year. Transport secretary Michael Matheson said: ‘The Glasgow Subway and Edinburgh Trams continue to provide key connections within our two biggest cities. The services provide essential capacity and link with bus, rail and park and ride facilities.’

However, SPT chairman Martin Bartos has described the new amount as ‘disappointing’. He has warned that SPT alone, which is not responsible for Edinburgh Trams, will still be facing a deficit of millions of pounds by the end of this year.

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