Last reviewed 24 June 2021

The Department for Transport (DfT) has now added business case development guidance for Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) and their partners (outside London) wanting to take advantage of the zero-emission buses regional area (ZEBRA) scheme.

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, announced backing for the ZEBRA scheme earlier this year (see “Government provides cash for zero-emission bus scheme in England”) and the new guidance sets out the timetable and information required for the business case for schemes during Phase Two, to enable the DfT to allocate funding for the scheme.

The Secretary of State will take the final decision, based on the submission of a completed five-part business case and advice from officials, on which schemes will be funded and the level of funding.

Business cases will be expected to demonstrate a strong strategic case, credible deliverability, value for money and rigorous and ongoing evaluation. They will need to set out:

  • the strategic case for funding — how the proposals meet the core objectives of the ZEBRA scheme

  • the economic case — demonstrating the need for government funding and the benefits to be gained

  • the commercial case — an outline procurement strategy for the electric buses and related infrastructure

  • the financial case — details of the amount of funding needed to create the ZEBRA, an assessment of financial risk and a demonstration of how the proposed approach will comply with procurement, subsidy control and, where applicable, state aid regimes.

LTAs must submit an expression of interest for Phase 1 of the ZEBRA scheme, electronically, to buses@dft.gov.uk, before applications close at 5pm on 2 July 2021.

They must then write a business case as part of Phase 2 after initial selection from Phase 1.

The new guidance is available at: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk.