New electric bus charging station

Further public transport decarbonisation funding

The Department for Transport has announced funding to support cleaner and more reliable public transport across 25 local authorities.

Investment worth £143 million will be allocated to the local authorities to allow them to introduce 995 new zero emission buses. As part of this drive to decarbonise public transport fleets, rural communities will be prioritised.

Funding will be coming through the second round of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas programme (ZEBRA) which has already helped to make sure that no other European country registered as many electric buses across 2023 as the UK, with almost half all new UK buses being zero emission. The first round of funding saw more than £270 million allocated to the purchasing of new buses, with 16 local transport authorities and councils being given backing, and the second round has now brought ZEB investment to more than £413 million.

Mark Harper ZEB quote

Mark Harper, Secretary of State for Transport, commented:

“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 a thousand brand new, zero emission buses due to hit the road.

“This latest investment into our bus fleet comes on top of the £3.5 billion we have invested into our bus network since 2020, protecting and improving bus routes into 2025 as well as extending the £2 bus fare cap until the end of 2024, made possible by reallocated HS2 funding.”

To ensure that rural communities are able to benefit from the investment, the first £40 million will be priorities for rural councils, this comes as public transport decarbonisation is still in its early stages.

Director of Policy and External Relations for the Confederation of Passenger Transport, Alison Edwards, added:

“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.”


Image credit: iStock


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