City funding success unlocks landmark £10 million project for zero emissions buses

4 weeks ago Fri 22nd Mar 2024

New all electric buses will soon be arriving in Brighton & Hove thanks to a successful major funding bid to government.

A partnership between Brighton & Hove Buses and Brighton & Hove City Council has won £2.9 million in funding to support a £10.5 million project that introduces 16 electric buses and charging infrastructure. The money is awarded from the Department for Transport’s ZEBRA 2 fund.

The new electric buses will help to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality along the route 7; an essential service that operates up to every 6-8 minutes across Brighton & Hove and in some of the city’s highest emission areas.

They will also offer the high standard of accessible features that are provided on board most of our buses including induction loops for passengers with hearing aids, dementia friendly floors and a flexible space for a second wheelchair user or multiple pushchairs or prams.

Nick Hill, Commercial Director for Brighton & Hove Buses said: “We are delighted to win £2.9 million in funding from the government’s ZEBRA 2 fund through our partnership work with Brighton & Hove City Council. With a total project cost of £10.5 million our contribution to this project is just over £7 million which we consider to be a vital investment in our city and for our customers.”

“Buses are one of the most sustainable ways to travel. These brand-new electric buses produce zero emissions at the tailpipe, helping to reduce carbon emissions and create cleaner air for everyone. We believe these buses, with a high frequency and a 24-7 service, will encourage people to live a more sustainable lifestyle by travelling on an electric bus.”

Councillor Trevor Muten, chair of Brighton & Hove's Transport & Sustainability Committee, said: “What a breakthrough for our city! Our successful joint bid with Brighton & Hove Buses to fund the introduction of zero-emissions fully electric buses is a landmark step towards a sustainable, cleaner, and accessible city transport system for the 2030s. 

“This is fantastic news and an example of what we can achieve through partnership. Replacing diesel buses with zero-carbon alternatives will support our shared vision for an accessible, clean and sustainable city.

“Having reliable, accessible, new zero-emission buses will help to reduce congestion, improve air quality, and make Brighton & Hove a successful, healthy and attractive city.”

About ZEBRA 2

The Department for Transport (DfT) launched ZEBRA 2 in September 2023 to support the introduction of zero emission buses and charging infrastructure. The scheme is providing investment across the UK from 2023 to 2025. 

The DfT will provide up to 75% of the cost difference between a zero emission bus and a standard conventional diesel bus and up to 75% of the cost of supporting infrastructure A local contribution of at least 25% is expected from bus operators and local transport authorities.