Government invests £143m in 1,000 zero emission buses to boost UK’s green transport efforts

Nearly 1,000 zero-emission buses are to hit the road, as the government invests a fresh £143m in greener transport across England.

Twenty-five councils across the country will receive funding supporting the rollout of 955 zero-emission buses, a move which the government says will see “millions” benefitting from cleaner, more reliable and more comfortable journeys.

The funding comes courtesy of the second round of the government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) programme and is designed to make local fleets more efficient, more comfortable and more sustainable.

The investment follows over £270 million given to 16 local transport authorities (LTAs) and councils from the first round of ZEBRA funding, bringing the total government support to roll out zero-emission buses to more than £413 million across 41 LTAs.

Nearly half of all new large buses introduced across the UK last year were zero emission, more than anywhere else across Europe.

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Some £40m of the funding will be prioritised for rural areas including Derbyshire, Devon, Torbay and the Tees Valley as the government looks to improve those transport networks and prioritise areas where the journey to decarbonising public transport is in its early stages.

Transport secretary, Mark Harper, said: “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.”

Alison Edwards, director of policy and external relations at the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), said: “CPT welcomes this support from the government to help accelerate vital public and private investment in new zero-emissions vehicles and charging infrastructure.

“The transition to a zero-emission bus fleet is a huge opportunity for Britain to lead the world in creating a modern zero-emission network that offers a growing number of passengers one of the most sustainable forms of transport.”

In August last year, Transport for London (TfL) passed a major milestone of more than 1,000 zero emission buses picking up customers in the capital.

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