Funding of up to £129m to help local transport authorities in England introduce zero-emission buses has been announced by UK transport secretary Mark Harper.
The Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) 2 scheme is now open for bids from all local authorities in England outside London, with applications to be prioritised from those that did not receive funding in the previous funding rounds.
To help ensure more parts of the country benefit, particularly remote areas, the government has prioritised the first £25m for rural communities.
The second phase of the ZEBRA scheme builds on the first round of funding, through which 1,300 zero-emission buses were funded.
Harper said: “Today’s funding for more zero-emission buses will help decarbonise public transport and grow the economy by keeping our communities connected.
“We have already reached our initial target of funding at least 4,000 zero-emission buses and this additional funding will improve journeys for even more passengers, reaching those in the most remote areas.”
The transport secretary also announced the launch of a new research hub, supported by £10m in funding from the Department for Transport (DfT), National Highways, HS2, Network Rail and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
As a result, Newcastle University, Heriot-Watt University, University of Cambridge and University of Glasgow will establish the Net Zero Transport for a Resilient Future Hub to develop ideas that ensure future transport infrastructure is low-carbon and resilient.
Funding for the research hub will be used to develop new ways of modelling cities and towns, and understanding how vital structures such as bridges and rail lines can handle severe weather events such as flooding.
What’s more, the hub will work with local authorities and industry to identify practical opportunities to make it easier for people to travel with greater choice and less disruption.
Innovations and achievements in public transport will be highlighted and celebrated at the second annual CiTTi Awards on 21 November 2023 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector – and to book your table today!