The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced it has received 35 Expression of Interest applications for its £120m Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme.
This gives local transport authorities the opportunity to compete for a share of the funding to support the rollout of zero emission buses across England.
It is part of the government’s drive to build back better and greener from the Covid-19 pandemic, as the UK prepares to host COP26 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Commenting, Roads Minister, Baroness Vere said:
“As we build back greener from the pandemic, the £120m to rollout zero emission buses will have a profoundly positive effect on our towns and cities, lowering emissions, improving air quality and reducing noise pollution.”
Total recovery funding of £226.5m to support vital bus services will also help support the key aims of the National Bus Strategy by encouraging local authorities and operators to work together to deliver better bus services.
The ZEBRA fund was launched in March, with local transport authorities able to apply under either a fast track or standard process.
The following local transport authorities have been selected under the fast track process to progress to the next stage of the competition:
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority
- Kent County Council
- Leicester City Council
- Milton Keynes Borough Council
- Warrington Borough Council
- West Midlands Combined Authority
The six shortlisted authorities will now develop business cases for investment, with the government awarding the first tranche of funding from the ZEBRA scheme to authorities that produce the strongest business cases.
More local transport authorities will be announced as being selected to produce business cases under the standard process in due course.
The ZEBRA funding comes from the wider £3bn fund announced by the government to improve bus services in the National Bus Strategy that was published back in March.
PSE will be hosting a Public Sector Decarbonisation event on 9 September. Join us for the full day event by registering here.