Network Support Grant – Frequently Asked Questions

What funding is in place to support bus services?

The Network Support Grant (NSG) and NSG Plus was introduced on 1 April 2023 to support the bus industry and replaced the former BSOG, CSG and CSG-R grants which ended on 31 March 2022.

What is NSG?

The NSG is a discretionary grant that subsidises commercial and community bus routes and is intended to contribute to the costs of running services. Payment calculations are based upon the numbers of live service kilometres operated during the claim period.

The NSG rate is 14.4 p/km and can be claimed from 1 April to 31 March each year and is paid on a monthly basis in advance based on estimated kilometres submitted or two 6-monthly payments for community transport operators.

NSG is broadly an equivalent to the “old” Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) funding regime that applied pre Covid 19 pandemic.

We recommend all operators read the terms and conditions for NSG carefully to allow them to consider how they can comply with them.

Can I back date my NSG claims?

You can claim NSG for the current financial year and one year prior back to 1 April 2022, you must also provide a reason for the delay in claiming.

Can I still claim NSG Plus?

No, NSG Plus was a temporary grant to support bus operators recovering from the COVID pandemic, all entitlement to claim NSG Plus ended on 31 March 2023 and there is no entitlement to claim retrospectively.

Do I include a new service starting after 1 April in my forecast claim?

Yes. If you have a new service starting after 1 April and you know the mileage this service will operate, you can include that in your forecast estimate claim.

Does NSG impact on salary increases?

NSG has conditions around salary increases and employees in line with the Fair Working Principles effective from 1 April 2024. For further information, please check NSG Grant Condition Section 2.9 and the Fair Work First Guidance/Framework.

Can I increase fares on my services if I am participating in NSG?

Yes. There is no cap on fares increases you may levy - subject to our internal reasonable fares assessment for concessionary fares reimbursement. Although if your company operates contracted services the local authority or organisation for which you run this service may set the fare levels.

My company is a community transport organisation. How often will I get paid through NSG?

Community transport organisations possessing a section 19 or section 22 permit can choose to claim once annually or twice yearly in arrears for set 6-month periods

(1 April – 30 September and 1 October – 31 March).

Prior to claiming you should complete the pre-registration eligibility template which can be found on our website. Claims should be submitted as soon as possible after the claim period and at a maximum within 12 months of the claim period end.

Payments are made following receipt and validation of each 6 month or yearly claim. Payments will be made no later than 3 months after the claim submission.

BSOG Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) / Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) related questions

Can I still claim for BSOG LEV/LCV as part of NSG?

NSG does not contain an incentive rate relating to vehicle emissions.

However, we are honouring the previous BSOG agreement and delivering remaining entitlement relating to BSOG LCV and BSOG LEV, full details of which is set out in the NSG Guidance document

The BSOG LCV ended in April 2019 but included a transitional arrangement for buses that were being supported by BSOG LCV at that time. Buses that had already claimed five or more years or BSOG LCV on 1 April 2019 were no longer eligible.

Buses yet to have made five years of claims continued to be eligible until the five-year limit is reached. Therefore some buses in operation may still be entitled to BSOG LCV until this exhausts. This 5-year entitlement period includes the period that CSG and/or CSG-R were in place.

BSOG LEV provided up to 5 years entitlement to a range of incentive rates from the date eligible buses entered into service from and including 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2022. Any buses that were in service on registered local bus service routes prior to

1 April 2022 may be entitled to BSOG LEV where they meet the eligibility and certification standards.

There is no BSOG LEV entitlement for any new buses coming into service from and including 1 April 2022 unless purchased through the Scottish Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme (SULEBS) Round 1 or Round 2. Specific rates relating to SULEBS Round 2 are as specified in the SULEBS Round 2 guidance.

I am purchasing a LEV eligible vehicle. Can this be included in my application for NSG?

To qualify, a bus was required to be in service from and including 31 March 2022 at the very latest to qualify for any LEV – if the bus came into operation from and including 1 April 2022 onwards it does not qualify.

I have repowered a bus to become zero emission, can I claim LEV?

No, this bus will either be treated as a new vehicle, which under NSG has no entitlement to LEV as brought into operation after 1 April 2022, or as an existing vehicle, which, either will have been entitled to LCV/LEV at the time of being brought into operation and is either now exhausted or will be after five years of entitlement at the original entitlement rate. If the bus was not originally entitled to LCV/LEV there are no circumstances where this will now be considered.

Formatting questions

I cannot access the drop-down options in the claim form, what should I do?

Please get in touch with us at schemesandgrants@transport.gov.scot and the team will be happy to assist you and either provide you with advice or provide you with a new application form.

Can I send the claim form back in a different file format?

No. As these forms are uploaded to our reimbursement system and contain formulas to assist with the calculation of your claim, you must return this in the original Excel (xls) format. We are unable to accept forms sent to us in a different format which includes pdf and jpeg forms.

Can I make changes to the application form itself?

No. Please do not modify any areas of the application form apart from inserting the requested data into the relevant fields as these forms are carefully designed with hidden formatting and formulas to help with the processing of your claim.

Please ensure all the relevant fields, tabs and pages are fully completed as per instructions. Any changes made to the form template may result in your claim being rejected by our system and your payments being delayed.