THE Scottish Government is to provide a further £4 million of emergency funding for Glasgow Subway and Edinburgh Trams in response to the ongoing financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the boss of Strathclyde Transport Partnership (SPT), which runs the Glasgow Subway and other local public transport, has called the package “disappointing” with the organisation facing a deficit which could result in cuts to services.

SPT chair Martin Bartos said: “The extension of emergency Subway support until the end of 2020 hopefully means we will be able

to cover the current losses from subway operations from July to the end of December.

“The funding package is disappointing when contrasted with the speed of the hundreds of millions of pounds of money and commitments provided to private rail and bus transport companies since March.”

He added: “Even if the subway successfully receives its fraction of the headline total figure announced for subway and trams, SPT will still face a multimillion-pound deficit by the end of the financial year.

“Unless there is a fresh approach taken by Government and a commitment for the rest of the financial year, the deficit still means cuts to our capacity to support public transport.”

Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson, said: “Over the six month period from July we will now have provided up to £13m of financial support to operators to enable services to continue. Any restrictions on these services could have placed unsustainable demands on other modes, especially buses, so this funding will assist capacity across all public transport.

“These services have allowed our key workers and others who needed to travel for essential journeys to do so during very challenging circumstances. The subway and tram will help our wider society and economy recover as we go through the next phases of this pandemic.”

Martin Dean, chair of Edinburgh Trams, said: “The additional funding being offered from Transport Scotland is welcomed news, especially as we navigate the challenges of fresh restrictions in the area.

“The ongoing financial support allows us to continue to operate our services for anyone who relies on the city’s tramway to make essential journeys.”