UK government invests £143 million to roll-out zero-emission buses nationwide

Posted: 22 March 2024 | | No comments yet

Transport Secretary Mark Harper confirms £143 million investment to introduce nearly 1,000 new zero-emission buses across England, enhancing local transport infrastructure and tackling climate change.

UK government invests £143 million to roll-out zero-emission buses nationwide

The UK government has announced a £143 million investment to introduce nearly 1,000 new zero-emission buses across England. Transport Secretary Mark Harper confirmed the allocation of funds on, underlining the commitment to decarbonise bus fleets and prioritise rural areas in the nation’s transport agenda.

A total of 25 councils will receive funding to upgrade their bus fleets, with a focus on making local journeys cleaner, more reliable and more comfortable. This initiative marks the second round of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) programme, following the success of the initial phase, which had seen substantial uptake of electric buses across various regions.

From Derbyshire to Devon, and from Torbay to the Tees Valley, communities across England will benefit from this investment, with many rural areas experiencing zero-emission buses for the first time. The move aligns with the government’s strategy to improve local transport infrastructure while addressing environmental concerns.

Statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) indicate that the UK has registered the highest number of electric buses in 2023 compared to other European nations. This momentum is set to continue with the infusion of funds into the ZEBRA programme, which has already demonstrated its effectiveness in accelerating the transition to cleaner transportation.

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The significance of this investment extends beyond environmental considerations. It is also expected to stimulate economic growth by supporting skilled jobs in the manufacturing sector. Furthermore, the government’s commitment to rural communities is evident in the prioritisation of funding for these areas, ensuring that the benefits of improved bus services are widespread.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “As part of our plan to improve local transport across the country, we’re providing a further £143 million to improve journeys for bus passengers particularly in rural areas, with almost 1,000 brand new, zero-emission buses due to hit the road.”

Alison Edwards, Director of Policy & External Relations at the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), said: “CPT welcomes this support from government to help accelerate vital public and private investment in new zero emissions vehicles and charging infrastructure. The transition to a zero-emission 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.”