The Scottish government is providing a further £5.7 million to help bus companies prepare for low-emissions zones (LEZs) in Scottish cities through the installation of technology that cuts diesel emissions or the conversion of existing buses to run on electricity.
The release of the funds announced by Transport Scotland marks the fourth round of the Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit Programme (BEAR), which has already provided £12.2 million to upgrade or convert 762 buses.
Emissions from diesel buses, especially older models, has long been a major contributor to city centre pollution. However, the Scottish government is keen to promote bus travel as part of its drive to improve air quality in Scotland’s cities.
Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: “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.”
LEZs are being introduced in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee over the next 2 to 3 years, with public consultations currently underway.
Photo credit: Elaine Catton