Network Support Grant (NSG & NSG Plus) – Frequently Asked Questions

Network Support Grant (NSG & NSG Plus)

1. Will BSOG, COVID Support Grant and Restart continue or do NSG and NSG Plus replace these?

BSOG, CSG and CSG-R are being replaced by NSG and NSG Plus. 

2. When will the NSG scheme begin?

The NSG scheme began on 1 April 2022. Entitlement to CSG and CSG-R payments ended on 31 March 2022.

3. What is the difference between NSG and NSG Plus?

The NSG is a discretionary grant that subsidises commercial and community bus routes, and is intended to contribute to the costs of running services. Its payment calculations are based upon the numbers of live service kilometres operated during the claim period. The grant is provided at two rates which are tied to different conditions; NSG and NSG Plus.

The NSG rate is 14.4 p/km. 

The NSG Plus rate is 79.4 p/km until 15 August, 50.4 pence/km to 9 October and 39.2 pence/km to 31 March 2023, when it will cease.

NSG is broadly an equivalent to the “old” BSOG funding regime that applied pre Covid 19 pandemic.

NSG Plus includes temporary additional financial support, and is intended to help offset lost revenue while patronage recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the higher payment rate NSG Plus is tied to a higher number and level of terms and conditions: operators must also provide detailed farebox information to include all concessionary and commercial revenue.

Please note Transport Scotland reserves the right to change the rate per kilometre payment for NSG Plus with sufficient notice. You should also note that NSG Plus includes a cap on fares, from 1 April 2022 until 9 October 2022, and a freeze on fares from 10 October 2022 until 31 March 2022.  Operators wishing to apply for it also must agree to a profit sharing agreement which is detailed in Schedule 1, Part 2, Paras 15 to 18 of the Grant award terms and conditions. You should assure yourself that you can comply with all of the NSG Plus terms and conditions to include sending Transport Scotland 4 weekly returns of actual and forecast mileage (kms). 

If you do not feel that you can comply with all of the stricter terms and conditions that NSG Plus demands, then you should apply for NSG.

You must read the terms and conditions for both NSG and NSG Plus carefully to allow them to consider how they can comply with these, especially as different terms and conditions are set from 10 October for NSG Plus.

4. How can I decide whether to apply for NSG or NSG Plus?

In the first instance please read the terms & conditions carefully, for both NSG and NSG Plus, and consider how you can comply with the mandatory conditions set out in both. If you are eligible for both and are confident in your company’s ability to fulfil the conditions of your preferred fund, then please submit the necessary forms for your preferred grant.

Please note Transport Scotland exercises discretion to review applications, advise operators and move them onto the other grant after consultation, should there be grounds to do so.

5. What information do I need to provide for commercial revenue and how often do I need to provide it if I am participating in NSG Plus?

Operators participating in NSG Plus are required to provide 4 weekly detailed commercial revenue data including kilometres, revenue, driver and service information, service information and passenger numbers. A form will be supplied to NSG Plus operators which will detail exactly what information an operator is required to supply and it will also state submission dates for each 4 week period.

6. Is it possible to change between NSG and NSG Plus during the funding period?

It is possible to change between grants so, for instance, if you wish to apply for NSG Plus initially and then decide this does not suit your company and vice versa, you can change to NSG. Please note that you must notify Transport Scotland, by giving us 28 days written notice of your intention to withdraw from either grant, and that you will be required to complete a new grant form and provide information again.

7. If more than one operator cover part of the same route, are they able to claim support for the KMs?

NSG and NSG Plus are operator specific grants. Therefore, in the case of two or more operators covering (part of) the same route all operators both/all operators are eligible to claim support for the kilometres.

8. I have a new service starting after 1 April 2022– can I include this in the service forecast?

Yes. If you have a new service starting after 1 April 2022 you can include that in your service forecast in your application.

9. Do NSG or NSG Plus impact on salary increases?

Neither NSG or NSG Plus has conditions around salary increases. For further information, please check NSG and NSG Plus Grant Condition Section 2.9 on Fair Work First / Fair Work Framework.

10. 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 operate local authority contracted services the local authority may set the fare levels.

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

For operators participating in NSG Plus from April 2022 to 9 October 2022 there is a cap on fare increases at the latest monthly consumer price index (CPI) since January 2020 unless otherwise agreed with us in advance.

For any claims from 10 October 2022, operators are not allowed to increase fares – see guidance.

12. Can I exclude some of my services from my NSG or NSG Plus application?

No. The operator needs to make a decision as to which NSG scheme (or none at all) all of the registered local bus services relating to a particular operating licence or company are to be signed up to. If an operator believes that some services are sufficiently distinct and can be grouped accordingly, they could register them under a separate operating licence and seek whatever support they wish against those services.

13. What parts of my business does the NSG Plus financial reconciliation process include for the Earnings Before Interest And Tax (EBIT) assessment?

The NSG Plus financial reconciliation process will be looking at EBIT for the registered local bus services operated by your business. It does not look at private coach hire income or any other aspects of the business. Operators need to identify and account for the relevant information at their side.

14. 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 either claim once annually, or claim twice yearly in arrears for set 6-month periods (1 October - 31 March and 1 April - 30 September). Claims should be submitted as soon as possible after the claim period and as 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

1. Can I still claim for BSOG LEV/LCV as part of NSG and NSG Plus?

Only for buses that were receiving the incentive prior to 1 April 2022, and still have entitlement to receive this – Both LCV and LEV are payable for a maximum of five years only. This five year period includes any claims to CSG.

NSG and NSG Plus do not contain incentive rates relating to vehicle emissions, unless these buses were purchased through the Scottish Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme (SULEBS) – see the guidance. However, NSG and NSG Plus are 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 (10.1p/km) 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 as at 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. Some buses may still be entitled to claim BSOG LCV. This 5-year entitlement period includes the period that CSG and/or CSG-R was in place.

BSOG LEV provided up to 5 years entitlement to a range of incentive rates from the date eligible buses entered into service. 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 SULEBS Round 1 or Round 2. Specific rates relating to SULEBS Round 2 are as specified in the SULEBS Round 2 guidance.

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

There is no entitlement to LEV for any new buses brought into service from 1 April 2022, unless purchased through SULEBS, where special arrangements are set out – see the guidance. 

You will need to have this vehicle running on a service from and including 31 March 2022 at the very latest to qualify for any LEV – if it comes into operation on 1 April 2022, it will not qualify.

You also have to have the bus certified, so if it hasn’t got a LEB Certificate or for a zero emission bus, a ULEB Certificate, it would not qualify. You have to provide evidence of the emissions prior to getting any incentive. The incentive would last for a maximum of 5 years from date of the vehicle running on services and with the appropriate certification.

Formatting questions

1. I cannot access the drop-down menu options in the forms. Is there a solution?

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

2. Can I send the application form back in a different file format?

No. Once you completed your application form please send it to us in its original file format (xls). We are unable to accept forms sent to us in a different format which includes pdf forms.

3. Can I make modifications to the application form itself?

No. Please do not modify the application form apart from inserting the requested data into the relevant field. Please ensure all the relevant fields, tabs and pages are completed as per instructions. Any modifications may result in not receiving payments due to your form being unable to be uploaded correctly to our payment system.