Twelve areas in England will share grants totalling nearly £200m to help fund zero emission buses and charging or fuelling infrastructure.
The cash for electric or hydrogen powered buses comes from the Zero Emission Buses Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme, which was launched last year.
The Department for Transport (DfT) said £198.3m will provide 943 buses and adds to almost £71m announced last year to support up to 335 new zero emission buses in five areas; a further £50m funding for the UK’s first All Electric Bus City, Coventry, supporting up to 300 buses; and 100 buses funded by previous funding schemes.
It added, following recent criticism, that the Government remains on track to deliver its commitment to fund a total of 4,000 zero-emission buses across the country.
The areas that will be receiving funding after business cases were approved are:
- North Yorkshire
- Greater Manchester
- South Yorkshire
- West Midlands
- West Yorkshire
Transport minister Baroness Vere said: ‘We recognise the scale of the challenge the world faces in reaching net zero. That’s why reducing emissions and creating green jobs lies at the heart of our transport agenda.’
The DfT is also launching a public consultation on setting a specific date between 2025 and 2032 for ending the sale of new buses that are not zero emission at the tailpipe and announced a separate call for evidence on ending the sale of new non-zero emission coaches and minibuses.
The Confederation of Passenger Transport welcomed the announcements of the consultation and the call for evidence.
In a statement it said: ‘It is important that any eventual targets for both bus and coach are realistic and recognise the unique and different challenges operators face regarding infrastructure, funding and technological development.’