Last reviewed 31 March 2021

Up to £120 million will be made available through a new scheme which will allow local transport authorities to bid for funding to purchase zero-emission buses in order to reduce the carbon emissions from their local public transport and improve air quality.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced backing for the zero-emission buses regional area (ZEBRA) scheme which will deliver up to 500 zero-emission buses. The funding comes from the wider £3 billion fund announced by the Government to improve bus services in its national bus strategy published earlier this year (see “New bus strategy is most ambitious reform in a generation”).

To ensure the ZEBRA funding 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. Mr Shapps has said that those authorities which need more time to develop their proposals will have until 25 June 2021 to submit their expressions of interest.

Full details of the application process can be found — here.

Silviya Barrett, Head of Policy, Research and Projects at Campaign for Better Transport (CBT), said: “Zero-emission buses are great news all round. As well as addressing climate change and air pollution, this funding will boost the bus manufacturing sector and give more passengers the best modern buses.”