The British government is funding five local transport authorities with a total of almost £71 million to support the introduction of up to 335 zero-emission buses as part of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Area programme.
In addition to the Leicester City Council scheme that will support the purchase of more than 200 vehicles before 2030, the councils that are now joining the programme are Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Kent County Council, Milton Keynes Borough Council and Warrington Borough Council.
From the ZEBRA (Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas) programme, £19 million (just under 22.5 million euros) will go to Leicester. Slightly more, namely £21.5 million or 25.4 million euros, will go to Warrington Borough Council. Milton Keynes Borough Council will receive £16 million (18.9 million euros), Kent County Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority will each receive amounts in the single-digit million range.
The funding is supposed to enable further investment. For Leicester, the city estimates the total investment at £47 million (just over 55 million euros). This means that the expectation is that minus the £19 million of funding, a further£28 million of investment will be made possible, of which the city will contribute £2.2 million.
The government stresses that a further £355 million (420 million euros) will be made available to promote zero-emission buses. However, the Confederation of Passenger Transport has already raised doubts about whether the government’s funding plans will be enough to meet its own target of 4,000 zero-emission buses in England by 2025.
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