The Scottish Government has awarded over £62 million through the first phase of the Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB). It is the largest investment made in Scotland to decarbonise buses, supporting the Scottish Government’s Mission Zero ambition for transport.
It will support operators in replacing 276 old diesel buses with new battery-electric models as well as the required charging infrastructure – putting the sector firmly on an accelerated path to a decarbonised, zero emission fleet.
“We want more people to choose to travel by bus now and in the future and to do so, knowing that local buses are contributing to our climate change ambitions. Our Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund is successfully decarbonising Scotland’s bus fleet faster than ever before and making a significant contribution to our Mission Zero ambition for Transport,” said Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth.
With 137 of the buses to be built in by Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) in Falkirk, the investment will also support skilled manufacturing jobs in Scotland, as well as cutting transport emissions and contributing to wider climate change targets.
“We’re providing £62 million in a way which attracts additional private sector investment, resulting in 276 new zero emission buses to be deployed across Scotland. 137 of these buses will be built in Falkirk – supporting skilled, green manufacturing jobs and benefitting the Scottish economy,” Gilruth continued.
“I’m pleased that with this significant award for greener buses, free bus travel for under 22s and the provision of over half a billion pounds in long term funding for bus priority infrastructure – we’re putting buses at the heart of Scotland’s green recovery and helping people to choose to travel more sustainably.”
ADL welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement of the award of £62 million in funding to bus operators through Phase 1 of the Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund.
“We are pleased that bids for 137 of our zero emission buses have been successful in this phase,” said ADL President & Managing Director Paul Davies. “These zero emission buses will be built at our factory in Falkirk and therefore ensure this Scottish Government investment is made domestically, allowing the benefits to be felt by our team members and across our communities. We very much look forward to working with the successful operators to finalise terms and get our teams working on these buses.”
The Scottish government’s announcement also featured a number of public transport operators who explained they were only able to afford to purchase the e-buses thanks to the ‘ScotEZB’ funding.
“We’re pleased to be hosting an EV charging station for Stirling Council at our premises which has been funded through ScotZEB, offering fast and easy access to the Springkerse Park and Ride facility,” said Duncan Hearsum, Chief Executive of the Order of Malta Dial-a-Journey in Stirling.
“As the leading Community Transport Operator operating across the Forth Valley, we want to take climate action and transition to a zero emission fleet. Sharing an EV charging facility on our site will be a cost effective way for us to start the shift to electric vehicles and will help us accurately evaluate our infrastructure needs.”