The NSG is a discretionary Grant available to both commercial and community bus operators to support Scotland’s bus network and keep fares more affordable than would otherwise be the case.
The NSG replaces the Bus Service Operators’ Grant (BSOG), COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG) and COVID-19 Support Grant - Restart (CSG-R). These schemes ceased on 31 March 2022, and operators no longer receive funding from those grants.
The NSG Plus was temporary recovery funding in place from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 only, with additional terms and conditions, which assisted operators’ recovery from the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. No claims can now be made for NSG Plus.
The NSG has been in place since 1 April 2022, and operators who wish to receive 4-weekly payments should submit the required forms (see below).
The NSG is a discretionary grant that subsidises commercial and community bus routes. NSG contributes to the maintenance of the nation’s bus networks for the benefit of passengers. NSG aims to keep fares at affordable levels and networks more extensive than would otherwise be the case.
Separate payment arrangements and timings apply for Demand Responsive Transport (DRT), and community transport organisations possessing a section 19 or section 22 permit.
The Network Support Grant Guidance page gives more information and details on how they should apply.
The NSG will be kept under review to ensure it remains in line with it's strategic objectives.
The NSG will be kept under review to ensure it remains in line with its strategic objectives.
The National Concessionary Travel Scheme for Older and Disabled People, and the Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme (‘under 22s’) will continue to operate as normal.
Please read the information below fully. If you have any questions please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page. If this does not answer your query, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commercial bus operators
Most commercial bus operators provide an annual estimate forecast for the financial year April to March, and receive 13 four weekly estimate payments. They are then required to complete and submit a certified claim form for actual kilometres operated in the claim year. Should any material change occur during the claim year they must submit a revised estimate claim to allow a recalculation of the grant entitlement and payment adjustments as required.
Advance estimate payments are conditional upon a certified claim being submitted within three months of the end of the claim year to which the estimate refers. Failure to submit a certified claim within the required time will result in future estimate payments being withheld and recovery of estimate payments received.
Section 19 & 22 bus operators
Community transport organisations possessing a section 19 or section 22 permit can either claim once annually, or twice yearly in arrears for set 6-month periods (1 October – 31 March and 1 April – 30 September).
Community Transport organisations wishing to claim through either NSG scheme under Section 19 or 22 of the Transport Act 1985 must complete an eligibility template to advise of their intention to claim. Once you have completed the template you must email that and any documents to support your claim (such as a copy of the relevant permit) to email@example.com. We will hold a record of your details and issue a claim form at the appropriate time for you to complete your actual kilometres, and claim NSG.
Section 19 and Section 22 claim forms
Where an operator was eligible for BSOG Low Carbon Vehicle or Low Emission Vehicle incentives, these are provided as additional payments under NSG where appropriate. More information is provided in the guidance document.
The Network Support Grant will be payable to operators who are:
- operating a local bus service as defined in section 2 of the Transport Act 1985;
- operating a community transport service possessing a section 19 or section 22 permit;
and whose service(s) meet the further requirements detailed in the Bus Service Operators Grant (Scotland) Regulations 2002, as set out in the guidance document below.
If, on reviewing the information provided and guidance, you think you would like to opt in to the NSG scheme please email firstname.lastname@example.org to advise of your intention.
Any queries should also be directed to this mailbox.
Outline Terms and Conditions – more information is available in the guidance
- NSG – paid at 14.4 pence per kilometre. This is intended to contribute to the costs of running services. Outline terms and conditions include:
- provision of forecast service kms for the relevant financial year to Transport Scotland;
- a commitment to consult with relevant local transport authorities on timetabling, paying special attention to those services which may support children to travel to school and that are required to minimise public transport connectivity disadvantages;
- a commitment to respond positively and quickly to reasonable requests from local transport authorities to amend service patterns, hours of operation, vehicles used or levels of provision;
- delivery of mitigations in line with any applicable public health guidance and rules and regulations, including in relation to COVID-19;
- a commitment to communicate changes to services with the relevant local transport authority, Transport Scotland, and the public in a timely fashion.