The Department for Transport has announced that it will be helping communities in four different regions of England with the decarbonisation of public transport, thanks to financial investment.
Government funding worth £25.3 million will be allocated to Yorkshire, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Hampshire, with new zero-emission buses being implemented as part of an ambitious rollout. The buses are also to be manufactured in the United Kingdom, as Wrightbus of Northern Ireland take the responsibility. Alongside supporting the push for net zero and achieving decarbonisation, this will also help to encourage growth and the levelling up of the economy through the creation of new high-skilled jobs.
Coming as part of the Zero Emission Buses Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme, the funding brings the total amount of government funding for zero emission buses to almost £300 million and the number of zero emission buses to up to 1,395 in England alone. The funding being allocated in Yorkshire, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Hampshire is set out as:
- £11.5 million will be allocated to Norfolk County Council for 55 buses
- 28 additional ZEBs will be funded for Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council through £6.2 million of funding,
- In Yorkshire, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority will receive an additional £5.7 million for the delivery of further 25 ZEBs and the City of York Council will be able to provide an additional nine ZEBs thanks to an extra £1.9 million in funding.
Richard Holden, Roads Minister, said:
“Buses are the most popular form of public transport, and these new British-built zero emission buses will support hundreds of high-quality manufacturing jobs in Northern Ireland, grow our economy and help clean up in the air in towns and cities across the country.
“We’re providing an additional £25.3 million to roll out 117 new buses to provide residents in Yorkshire, Norfolk and Portsmouth with better, cleaner and quieter journeys, as we step up a gear to reach net zero faster and level up across the country.”
Managing Director at First Bus, Janette Bell, added:
“We are delighted to be accelerating investment in the electrification of our bus fleet and infrastructure, supported by co-funding from the Department for Transport.
“As leaders in sustainable mobility, we are fully aligned with the government’s ambitions for a net zero carbon transport system. We are rapidly transforming our business with zero emission bus fleets and will continue to work closely with central and local government across the UK to deliver our decarbonisation plans.”
Coming as part of the government’s wider National Bus Strategy, this move will contribute to the improvement of bus services, lowering of fares, integration of ticketing and more services, as well as working towards their decarbonisation plans.