The Scottish Government has announced it is spending £62 million on upgrading its fleet of diesel buses to electric vehicles.
The money is the first phase of the Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB) and will support operators in replacing 276 old buses and introducing the required charging infrastructure.
137 of the buses will be built in Falkirk.
“We want more people to choose to travel by bus now and in the future and to do so, knowing that local buses are contributing to our climate change ambitions,” commented Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth. “Our Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund is successfully decarbonising Scotland’s bus fleet faster than ever before and making a significant contribution to our Mission Zero ambition for Transport.
“We’re providing £62 million in a way which attracts additional private sector investment, resulting in 276 new zero emission buses to be deployed across Scotland. 137 of these buses will be built in Falkirk – supporting skilled, green manufacturing jobs and benefitting the Scottish economy.
“Supporting a just transition to a net zero economy is central to the ScotZEB approach. Through this round we’re supporting smaller bus operators and rural service providers, whom I’m pleased are equally keen to step up and help tackle the climate emergency.
“I’m pleased that with this significant award for greener buses, free bus travel for under 22s and the provision of over half a billion pounds in long term funding for bus priority infrastructure – we’re putting buses at the heart of Scotland’s green recovery and helping people to choose to travel more sustainably.”
William Houston, Owner of Houston’s Coaches in Lockerbie added, “Here at Houston’s we want to do our part to respond to the climate emergency and move to a zero emission fleet.
“As a smaller local operator, it’s been difficult for us to compete with larger operators and attract in financial support to help make the switch.
“The ScotZEB programme has helped us compete and enabled Houston’s to invest in new zero emission buses. I’m delighted that our customers will soon benefit from the modern conveniences of four new battery electric buses, which at the same time will improve air quality and help protect our environment.”
Duncan Hearsum, Chief Executive of the Order of Malta Dial-a-Journey in Stirling said, “We’re pleased to be hosting an EV Charging Station for Stirling Council at our premises which has been funded through ScotZEB, offering fast and easy access to the Springkerse Park and Ride facility.
“As the leading Community Transport Operator operating across the Forth Valley, we want to take climate action and transition to a zero emission fleet.
“Sharing an EV charging facility on our site will be a cost effective way for us to start the shift to electric and will help us accurately evaluate our infrastructure needs.”
(Picture – Transport Scotland)