Transport Scotland has launched a third round of its Bus Emission Abatement Retrofit (BEAR) Fund that will support micro and small bus operators with the technology required to reduce emissions.
Through the BEAR fund, almost £9 million will be made available over the next year, providing vital support to the Scottish government’s commitment to reduce Low Emission Zones into the country’s four biggest cities by next year.
Funding will help bus operators with the costs of installing engine and exhaust retrofitting, which in turn will reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions from older buses so that they achieve the new Euro VI emission standard.
This will ensure the vehicles are the equivalent of new, modern buses thanks to the installation of retrofit technology; Transport Scotland will now monitor all air quality performance of the buses.
In the third round of BEAR funding, a total of £8.85 million will be released, and Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, underlined the importance of reducing bus emissions, highlighting its role in taking more cars off the roads.
He said: “Each fully occupied bus in our towns and cities can remove the equivalent of 75 cars from the road.
“That is why buses are part of the solution to tackling congestion, improving air quality and reducing transport emissions – and it is why we have committed to invest over half a billion pounds towards bus priority infrastructure through the Programme for Government.
“Many operators are investing in new fleets, and we have supported this through our Scottish Green Bus Fund, however, for many operators the right solution is to retrofit their mid-life buses where they can.
“This adds to the £2.5 million we have invested through the BEAR programme in the previous two rounds.
“We want our air quality to be the best in Europe, but for the oldest and youngest in our society and those with existing health conditions, air quality remains an issue.
“This fund will continue to help support our ambition to protect public health and improve our air quality.”