AN EXPLANATION OF THE BUS SERVICE OPERATORS GRANT SCHEME FOR
COMMUNITY TRANSPORT OPERATORS
NOTES FOR GUIDANCE ON HOW TO COMPLETE FORM PSV 452-S
ISBN 978 1 908181 01 5
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AN EXPLANATION OF THE BUS SERVICE OPERATORS GRANT SCHEME
Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) is a discretionary grant paid
under section 38 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2001 by Transport
Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers. This grant is payable
only on a local bus service as defined in section 2 of the
Transport Act 1985 or a Community Transport service possessing a
Section 19 Permit. The service(s) must then meet the further
requirements detailed in the Bus Service Operators Grant (Scotland)
Regulations 2002. This Information Pack only deals with Community
Transport services. Details on how to claim BSOG for local bus
services can be found in Information Pack PSV 360-S.
CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY
An organisation wishing to receive BSOG first has to apply for
acceptance onto the BSOG scheme. To enable eligibility to be
checked they should complete form PSV 455-S and submit it to
Transport Scotland. Along with form PSV 455-S they should
submit a copy of the Section 19 Permit (or Permits if relevant) and
such other documentation as is necessary to show the transport
services provided in the eligible categories. Organisations should
submit a copy of the Permit itself and not the Permit Disk.
Documentation could, for example, include the body’s
constitution and/or its annual report and/or literature – an
existing leaflet for example – describing the particular
transport service for which BSOG will be claimed.
To qualify community transport services must be eligible
services operated by non-profit making bodies on the basis of a
Permit issued under Section 19 of the Transport Act 1985. Eligible
services are services used wholly or mainly by:
(a) persons who have attained the age of 60 years;
(b) disabled persons*;
(c) persons in receipt of income support under section 124 of
the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992;
(d) persons in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance under the
Jobseekers Act 1995;
(dd) persons in receipt of employment and support allowance
payable under Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act 2007;
(e) persons suffering a degree of social exclusion by virtue of
unemployment, poverty or other economic factors, homelessness,
geographical remoteness, ill health, or religious or cultural
(f) persons who believe that it would be unsafe for them to use
any public passenger transport services; or
(g) carers or persons under 16 years of age accompanying any of
This leaflet is for guidance only; full conditions of
eligibility for BSOG are contained within the Bus Service Operators
Grant (Scotland) Regulations 2002.
When completing form PSV 455-S, organisations should give
a broad estimate of the proportion or percentage of persons
carried, in terms of their overall business, for each category they
are claiming for. If any of the categories an organisation is
claiming for are not detailed in the literature they provide with
their application, then they must confirm those details separately,
i.e. rough numbers carried, to where and how often.
Transport Scotland will consider submitted applications and may
seek external advice should this be necessary. Once satisfied that
an organisation operates some services which qualify for the grant
Transport Scotland will confirm acceptance onto the scheme in
writing. Transport Scotland will also notify organisations if their
application is unsuccessful based on the information that has been
Further copies of PSV 455-S, this information pack and
all other forms referred to above are available from Transport
Scotland’s Concessionary Travel and Integrated Ticketing
NOTES FOR GUIDANCE ON HOW TO COMPLETE FORM PSV 452-S
Once eligibility for the grant has been confirmed, Transport
Scotland will issue form PSV 452-S which should be completed
and returned to Transport Scotland.
Claimants for BSOG are required to maintain and keep accurate
records to fully support the figures entered on form PSV
452-S. Services operated prior to the coming into force date of
the BSOG regulations on 1 July 2002 will not be eligible.
Eligibility can be backdated only to one financial year before the
current financial year in question. The following gives guidance on
the type of records that should be maintained.
SECTION 1: ELIGIBLE MILEAGE
Section 1 of form PSV 452-S is designed to record all
mileage operated on eligible services. In order to be able to do
this all vehicles used on those services must have a functioning
mileage/kilometre measuring device (vehicles of course normally
have an odometer fitted within the speedometer of the vehicle).
This will enable the claimant to record the opening and closing
mileage/kilometre reading on each eligible journey or route made
each day. In the case of a journey involving a mix of passengers
where some are in the eligible categories and some are not, those
journeys should not be included in the eligible mileage figure
unless the wholly or mainly requirement is met (see section on
conditions of eligibility). Resulting from this, accurate
mileage/kilometre figures for each eligible journey or route can be
A record must exist in order to prove that the service operated.
This is usually achieved by using driver or vehicle daily
logsheets. Please note that the original records signed by the
driver must be retained and available for at least 12 months after
the claim form was submitted to Transport Scotland.
At the end of the claim period the actual mileage/kilometres for
each eligible journey or route must be accumulated and transferred
into Section 1 of the claim form. Only if the payment rate has
changed during the period covered by this claim, separate figures
of eligible kilometres are required in Section 1 for the periods in
respect of which the different payment rates applied.
When the claim is processed, Transport Scotland will add a 1%
allowance to the Section 1 figure to cover miscellaneous mileage
incurred in connection with, for example, vehicle testing and
maintenance and driver training. Where a vehicle has been used to
make some journeys which are not eligible under the terms of the
regulations, care must be taken not to include the mileage run
within the total claimed. However, the claim may include
‘dead’ mileage which is that mileage integral to
providing eligible services but is not in itself an eligible
journey. This is mileage run in moving between two eligible
journeys but not that in moving from an eligible journey to an
For example, dead mileage may include mileage at the start of
the day from base to the first pick up, mileage at the end of the
day from the last drop off to base and mileage either side of a
driver break or handover. Dead mileage does not include mileage to
and from any maintenance facility. This sort of mileage is covered
by the 1% allowance.
Care must also be taken not to double claim mileage when a
vehicle is lent or hired out to another organisation. The principle
that will apply is that when the vehicle is hired out to another
Community Transport group, it is for the group using the vehicle at
the time to claim on the basis of their Section 19 Permit. Where
the Community Transport group provides transport for the clients of
a number of affiliated organisations under its own
‘umbrella’ Section 19 Permit, then the claim should
come from the Community Transport group. It should be noted that,
in such cases, some journeys may not be eligible, and these should
be excluded from your claim for BSOG.
SECTION 2: FUEL CONSUMPTION CALCULATION
Section 2 of the claim form is used in order to obtain an
accurate fuel consumption factor for those vehicle(s) that
undertake any eligible journey. The resulting consumption rate is
used to determine the grant due. Records must therefore be kept of
both total kilometres run and total fuel issued.
The total vehicle kilometre figure must incorporate every turn
of the wheel undertaken by your vehicle(s) regardless of the type
of duty being performed. Assuming that there are no problems with
the measuring equipment, it will be a simple matter of taking the
mileage readings at the beginning of the claim period from that
recorded at the end of the claim period for each of your vehicles.
Generally, the total vehicle mileage/ kilometre figure can be
extracted from the driver or vehicle logsheets, but where this is
not possible we recommend that regular mileage readings are
recorded throughout the claim period. This should also ensure the
integrity of the mileage/kilometre measuring equipment. Should you
have more than one vehicle, simply add the vehicle totals together
in order to obtain the claim figure.
The fuel figure should include the total amount of fuel actually
issued to the vehicle(s) over exactly the same period from which
total vehicle mileage has been derived. Details of fuel purchases
will normally be available through the receipts issued from the
point of sale. Calculation must not be based on a perceived
consumption factor. Records must be maintained to show actual fuel
The fuel and mileage for any vehicles that may come and go
during the course of the claim period must also be included when
compiling the Section 2 figure.
Organisations are paid BSOG in respect of eligible services
operated in the preceding six months. Organisations would therefore
make two claims in arrears each year, for example, claims will be
made for the period April to September and October to March.
However, where an organisation joins the scheme part-way through
the six-month period then the first claim made may be for less than
All records must be retained and available for at least 12
months after the claim form was submitted to Transport Scotland.
All such records must be made available to the Scottish
Ministers’ authorised officers on request. Failure to
maintain proper records or produce them when requested to do so may
result in claimants being excluded from the scheme.
Transport Scotland uses the following conversion factors:
a) miles to kilometres: Multiply by 1.61
b) gallons to litres: Multiply by 4.55
From 1 April 2010 the scheme will become budget limited. The
payment rate will be determined by the amount of budget available.
If this rate requires adjustment during the year Transport Scotland
will make the necessary adjustments.
BSOG Rates from 1 April 2010 41.21 pence per litre
Where the total eligible kilometre figure in Section 1 of the
claim form is less than 20,000 kilometres per claim, these claims
can be ‘self-certified’ by a responsible officer of the
body making the claim. Where the total eligible kilometre in
Section 1 of the claim form is greater than 20,000 kilometres then
these claims will normally need to be certified by an
accountant/auditor who is not an employee or official of the body
concerned. In exceptional circumstances claims may be certified by
someone having sufficient financial standing and expertise, for
example a current or retired bank manager.
For further information on BSOG eligibility and claim processes,
Concessionary Travel & Integrated Ticketing Unit
58 Port Dundas Road
Tel: 0141 272 7306
Further copies of this document are available, on request, in
audio and large print formats and in community languages (Urdu;
Bengali; Gaelic; Hindi; Punjabi; Cantonese; Arabic; Polish).