The Department for Transport has announced today that it will provide funding to help decarbonise public transport and invest in innovation to ensure infrastructure is low-carbon and resilient.
Towns and villages in rural areas across England will benefit from new zero emission buses.
Zero emissions buses scheme
Backed by £129 million worth of funding, the department for transport has launched a scheme to provide rural areas with better connectivity via zero emission buses. The Government claims that people across the country, including those in the most rural communities, will be able to make greener and cleaner journeys. These new buses will supposedly help grow the economy by connecting communities – helping people get to work or college while also providing a boost for UK manufacturing.
To make sure more parts of England benefit from green technology, particularly remote areas where building the infrastructure needed for the buses is more expensive, the Government has prioritised the first £25 million for rural communities.
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 ensure more people can enjoy this clean transport.
Net zero research hub
This announcement follows the launch of the £10 million net zero research hub which aims to boost innovation to decarbonise transport and tackle climate change. Newcastle University, Heriot-Watt University, University of Cambridge and University of Glasgow have been awarded the funding to establish the Net Zero Transport for a Resilient Future Hub, where they will develop innovative ideas to ensure future transport infrastructure is low-carbon and resilient.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said that the 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 UK is also cementing its position as a world leader in net zero tech with this new investment into climate resilience. Our Net Zero transport hub will be a centre of academic excellence, helping us keep our transport network resilient into the future” Harper continued.
Bus Minister Richard Holden said that this investment will “kick-start a new generation of bus manufacturing in the UK and create good, high-quality jobs from Scarborough to Falkirk”.
This announcement symbolises a commitment to sustainable transport, as well as a recognition of the need to connect rural communities to level up the UK.