Government announces £143m winning bids for zero emission buses under ZEBRA 2

Fri 22 March 2024 View all news

The Government has announced successful bidders for £143m funding under the second round of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas scheme (ZEBRA 2). The funding will support 25 local authorities in the purchase of 955 zero emission buses.

Route One reports that the latest funding allocation is more than the £129 million initially promised and comes on top of £268 million handed out to 16 councils in the first tranche of ZEBRA funding.

The Government says that the funding will see new electric buses in towns, villages and cities across England, including the most rural parts of the country, for which £40m has been prioritised, supporting the purchase of 318 vehicles.

Last month, Zemo Partnership reported that the UK registered more zero emission buses in 2023 in any other European country, accounting for around 60% of all new bus registrations in the year.

The Government says that this second round of funding brings total Government support to support the introduction of zero emission buses to more than £413 million across 41 local transport authorities.

Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said: "This latest investment into our bus fleet comes on top of the £3.5 billion we have invested into our bus network since 2020, protecting and improving bus routes into 2025 as well as extending the £2 bus fare cap until the end of 2024, made possible by reallocated HS2 funding."

The new buses aim to improve the passenger experience, providing users with considerably quieter and more comfortable journeys.

Alison Edwards, Director of Policy and External Relations at the Confederation of Passenger Transport, said: "CPT welcomes this latest allocation of £143m from Government to help accelerate vital public and private investment in new zero emissions vehicles and charging infrastructure.

“We also welcome Government’s recognition of the particular difficulties faced by rural areas in moving to zero emission bus fleets, as set out in CPT’s Rural Zero Emission Bus Taskforce’s (RZEBT) recent report .

“The transition to a zero emissions bus fleet is a huge opportunity for Britain to lead the world in creating a modern zero emission bus network that offers a growing number of passengers one of the most sustainable forms of transport.”

Commenting on the statistics Zemo published in February, Claire Haigh, Zemo Partnership's Executive Director said: “It's excellent to see the UK is leading the way in zero emission buses.  This shows the huge value that can be delivered when government funding is combined with the strong support and collaboration of all key players.  

"The success of zero emissions buses in the UK is due in large part to government working closely with industry and key stakeholders – much of that took place under Zemo Partnership’s auspices, particularly our exemplary bus working group.” 


Image: Zemo Partnership


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