Move aims to help drive a post-pandemic green recovery


The Scottish Government has opened a new Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme.

This year, the scheme will provide £9m to help bus operators invest in ultra-low emission vehicles to help drive a green recovery out of the COVID-19 crisis while improving air quality.

This Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme is an evolution of the Scottish Government’s Green Bus Fund. Through the Green Bus Fund, £17m was invested between 2011 and 2018 to help operators overcome the initial capital costs of new buses. This successful scheme supported the introduction of nearly 500 cleaner buses across Scotland.

This new initiative focuses on ultra-low emission technologies (hydrogen electric or fully electric propulsion) which supports the Scottish Government’s world-leading net zero targets, its commitment to delivering Low Emission Zones and the bold ambitions Scotland has for transport decarbonisation.

Accelerating the deployment of electric buses is in line with Scotland’s ambition to move to net-zero economy. The Scottish National Investment Bank is being established to support and enable the transition to net zero and will look to leverage additional private finance to deliver its missions.

The bank will also have the ability to offer patient capital, on a commercial basis. Commercial bus operators are encouraged to contact the bank or other financial institutions now, as part of their application for grant support.

“The Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme will support bus operators and bus manufacturers in what I know is a turbulent time for the industry,” said Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson.

“The investments we will make this year will help drive forward a green recovery in Scotland while supporting our air quality objectives and our world-leading climate targets.”

Paul White, director for the Confederation of Passenger Transport in Scotland added: “While Covid-19 has presented immediate challenges for our sector we cannot lose sight of important elements of public transport policy such as air quality, decarbonisation and patronage growth. The launch of SULEBS is an important step in retaining the momentum for meeting these objectives and the wider National Transport Strategy vision.”

Full guidance on the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme can be found on the Transport Scotland website.

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