NHS staff to get free bus travel in Wales

NHS staff will be given free travel as part of a £69 million package. (Source: Getty Images)

NHS staff will be given free travel on buses on Wales as part of a £69 million package put together to help bus companies survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of passengers on buses has declined by up to 90 percent since the government urged the public to stay at home.

NHS workers will be able to travel for free on buses for the next three months. They have already been allowed to use trains for free.

Ken Skates, the minister for economy, transport and North Wales, said: ‘Demand for public transport has reduced significantly as people are following new rules to stay at home to save lives and protect our NHS.’

Ken Skates said demand for public transport had reduced ‘significantly’. (Source: Getty Images)

‘Our rail franchise provider, bus companies and community transport operators – many of which are small businesses and charities – are facing significant financial challenges.’

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‘This support will give public transport operators the initial funding they need to continue to deliver services, pay employees and sub-contractors, while we work with them to develop a comprehensive package of measures to secure an efficient, sustainable, and robust bus network.’

The fund will be paid monthly for up to three months and will replace temporary grant funding provided through the bus services support grant, mandatory concessionary fares and MyTravelPass.

Mr Skates said that the ‘priority at the moment is to protect the public, people working on public transport and our NHS.’ (Source: Getty Images)

Bus companies will commit to continue to provide a timetabled service in return for the Welsh government’s financial support.

Mr Skates said: ‘Our priority at the moment is to protect the public, people working on public transport and our NHS.’

‘We must act now to ensure when the pandemic is over, we will have a bus and rail network to allow us to achieve this ambition.’

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