Scottish bus operators get more money to help cut emissions

The Scottish Government is providing almost £6 million of cash to help bus and coach operators go green.

Saturday, 31st July 2021, 12:25 pm
Princes Street, Edinburgh. Picture: PA

The money is being made available to help transport operators meet the standards that will be in place in low emission zones (LEZs) which are being introduced in Scotland’s largest cities in 2022.

A total of £5.7 million is now available from the Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit Programme (BEAR) to help with the costs of reducing diesel emissions or converting the vehicles to electric.

The scheme has already provided £12.2 million, which has helped ensure that 762 buses can meet the more stringent emissions standards.

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Transport minister Graeme Dey said: “To protect public health and improve air quality, we’re continuing to support the introduction of Low Emission Zones across Scotland.

“Each fully occupied bus in our towns and cities can remove the equivalent of 75 cars from the road. It’s for this reason that choosing bus is already a positive choice for air quality – and even more so if that bus is retrofitted to meet emissions standards.

“Scotland has good air quality, but for the oldest and youngest in our society and those with existing health conditions, air quality remains an issue.

“It is critical that we have LEZs introduced in our four biggest cities by 2022, and this support is another way we’re helping bus, coach and community transport providers to comply with forthcoming emissions standards.”

Stevie More, engineering director at Lothian Buses, said “Lothian are fully committed to improving air quality across all our operations in Edinburgh and the Lothian’s, in line with the Scottish Government’s ambition to have the best air quality in Europe.

“This announcement from the Scottish Government of a further round of BEAR funding is welcomed by the industry as we all strive to meet the Low Emission Zone targets across Scotland.”