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UK transport minister Grant Shapps announces £283 million to start moving public transport back to a full timetable in latest coronavirus briefing

By Scott Maclennan

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Announcing a boost for public transport UK transport minister Grant Shapps warned that even with a "full service" buses and trains will be able to carry far fewer passengers because of social distancing.

“As we start to relax the restrictions, we must plan our route to recovery, allowing people to resume their lives where possible, getting businesses up and running again and building beyond coronavirus," he said.

“In the short term, we will need to bring back more public transport to keep families safe. That process has already begun – rail and tube services increased at the beginning of this week and will ramp-up more next month

“And to ensure that more buses, trams and light rail networks return to service, today I can announce new investment of £283 million to start moving back to a full timetable.

"I do want to stress this funding does not mean we can go back to using public transport whenever we like."

At today's Downing Street briefing he said that even fully restored services would only be able to carry around a fifth of the passengers they had accommodated previously.

Scotland will receive a proportion of the money announced under the Barnett formula.

After accusations in the media today that government adviser Dominic Cummings broke coronavirus lockdown regulations by travelling more than 200 miles with his family to be near relatives when his wife developed coronavirus symptoms, Mr Shapps said Mr Cummings had the Prime Minister's "full support".

The UK death toll from coronavirus now stands at 36,675, with a further 282 deaths since yesterday.

A total of 116,585 tests for coronavirus were carried out yesterday, with 2959 new cases confirmed.

There are currently 9331 people in hospital with Covid-19.

Related article: No new confirmed coronavirus cases in Highlands – and number of people in hospital drops

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