New scheme to help local transport authorities to introduce zero-emission buses

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A new multimillion-pound scheme for local transport authorities to roll out zero-emission buses has announced dates for expressions of interest.

Up to £120 million is being made available through the zero-emission-buses regional area (ZEBRA) scheme, which will allow local transport authorities to:

  • Bid for funding to purchase zero-emission buses.
  • Reduce the carbon emissions from their local public transport.
  • Improve air quality in towns and cities across England.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, commented on the announcement: “We’ve set out our vision of how we’re going to make buses better in this country, and now we’re getting on with delivering it.

“The launch of the scheme today means we’re giving businesses and local authorities the tools to help deliver the 4,000 zero-emission buses we said we would introduce, which will dramatically improve air quality in towns and cities across the country, helping us achieve our net-zero ambitions.”

The funding comes from the wider £3 billion fund announced by the government in national bus strategy published earlier this month.

The national bus strategy contains several pledges to improve the environmental friendliness of the country’s bus sector.

This includes a consultation on the end date for sales of diesel buses, which was launched alongside the strategy.

To ensure the funding from the zero-emission-bus fund is used quickly to help provide British bus manufacturers with an injection of orders, the government is calling on consortia of local transport authorities, energy companies, bus operators and manufacturers to come together to work up strong cases for funding.

Bidders will have until 21 May 2021 to submit expressions of interest for a fast-track process that will allow local transport authorities with well-developed proposals to move quickly in their bid to secure funding.

However, the government has said it wants all local authorities to have the opportunity to submit bids and, therefore, those who need more time to develop their proposals will have until 25 June 2021 to submit expressions of interest.

More information about the zero emission bus funding is available on the government website.