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Stagecoach welcomes Government investment into new zero-emission buses as Transport Secretary visits Cheltenham depot

  • 25 councils across England to receive funding for cleaner, more modern and more reliable bus fleets, with rural areas prioritised
  • Government support will unlock further fleet investment by Stagecoach
  • New zero-emission vehicles will enter service across England, from Torbay to Newcastle

Stagecoach, the UK’s largest bus and coach operator, welcomed Transport Secretary, Mark Harper MP, to its Cheltenham depot as he announced the award of £143 million to roll-out more zero-emission buses through the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme.

Mr Harper was accompanied by Cheltenham MP and Justice Secretary, Alex Chalk MP and met leaders from Gloucestershire County Council, one of the successful councils awarded funding.

Stagecoach is participating in eleven projects to deploy 367 electric buses across England, from Torbay to as far north as Newcastle, involving six of Stagecoach’s operating companies. 

The new state-of-the-art buses will improve the passenger experience, providing users with considerably quieter, smoother, and more comfortable journeys. They will also meet Enhanced Accessibility Standards and will come with the latest passenger experience features. The funding comes from the second round of the ZEBRA programme, which will see new electric buses in towns, villages and cities across England, with £40m of the funding ring-fenced for the most rural parts of the country.

Today’s investment follows over £270 million to 16 councils in England from the first round of ZEBRA funding, bringing the total Government support to roll out zero-emission buses to more than £413 million across 41 LTAs.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: 

“This latest investment into our bus fleet comes on top of the £3.5 billion we have invested into our bus network since 2020, protecting and improving bus routes into 2025 as well as extending the £2 bus fare cap until the end of 2024, made possible by reallocated HS2 funding.” 

Sam Greer, Chief Operating Officer, said:

“We welcome this allocation of funding to local authorities for investment in new zero-emission buses. This support gives renewed confidence to the whole supply chain and will unlock significant private sector investment into new, clean vehicles.

“This is a really positive step forward in helping to reduce carbon emissions and deliver cleaner air, building on the funding already made available to support bus services in England through the £2 fare cap. We look forward to working with our local authority partners to deliver our shared ambitions for thriving bus services that support local communities.”