Scotland’s Bus Decarbonisation Taskforce publishes pathway to zero-carbon bus sector
In order to support the delivery of the plan, the Scottish government has launched a £500,000 scheme, with a key focus on helping small and medium sized bus operators, local authorities and community transport organisations.
Credit: Transport Scotland
Scotland’s Bus Decarbonisation Taskforce has announced that it has published its pathway to a zero-carbon bus sector, with the Scottish government launching a new £500,000 scheme to support its delivery, focusing on supporting smaller operators and local authorities – including community and school transport providers.
The Taskforce, made up of leaders from the operating, manufacturing, energy, finance and public sectors, have worked together over the past 18 months to tackle the barriers to a swift roll-out of zero-emission buses. To date, most progress has been made by the largest public service bus operators, and now Scottish Ministers want to make sure smaller operators, and those delivering essential services such as home to school transport, are supported to make the change.
In order to support this, the Scottish government has launched a £500,000 Zero Emission Bus Market Transition Scheme, delivered through Energy Saving Trust. This funding will help small and medium sized bus operators, local authorities and community transport organisations assess their options for decarbonisation, and prepare collaborative and competitive business cases ahead of the next multi-million pound phase of ScotZEB – opening in spring 2023.
Smaller operators across Scotland were supported as part of the £62 million ScotZEB allocation in February 2022. This additional funding through the Market Transition Scheme responds to reflections from Taskforce members on the continued ability of smaller operators to compete with larger operators and attract funding at scale.
The pathway report and Market Transition Scheme were launched at the Alexander Dennis Ltd premises in Larbert, where many of the new electric buses funded through ScotZEB will be built.
“I’m grateful to the members of the Bus Decarbonisation Taskforce who have co-designed this new pathway for a zero-emission bus fleet across Scotland. The report recognises the big achievements already made through our funding programmes, but also the barriers that various sectors need to overcome to deliver on our Programme for Government commitment,” said Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth. “Whether it’s a large or small operator, I want more people to choose bus and know that those buses are contributing even more towards our climate change ambitions than they do now. This report and funding will support that vision as part of our wider ‘Mission Zero’ for transport.”
Scottish Enterprise Managing Director of Innovation and Investment and Taskforce member Jane Martin said: “I welcome the new pathway to net zero buses launching today (10 August) as it provides a clear route to help meet Scotland’s net zero targets through collaboration with enterprise agencies, Transport Scotland, Scottish Government and, most critically, business and industry.”
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