Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) lobbying has secured huge wins on air quality in Scotland with the widening of a scheme to breathe new life into older diesel buses.
One half of an announcement which also focused on a new £10m fund for temporary bus infrastructure to enable temporary bus lanes, it will help protect air quality in Scottish city centres by encouraging bus and coach operators to retrofit their vehicles. Following EIC engagement, the Scottish Government has improved the grant thresholds over earlier rounds of funding and it now offers the best value approach for operators to improve air quality in the quickest time possible.
Following a statement on Transport to the Scottish Parliament, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “I’m pleased we can offer a new £10 million package of support to local authorities in order to reduce the impact of congestion on our busiest bus routes. At the same time we have improved the grant thresholds to encourage applications to our exhaust retrofit scheme in order to help operators meet our air quality objectives.
“The bus sector is responding to not only increased operating costs during COVID-19, but also increasing congestion as restrictions are eased which will negatively impact on bus journey times. I hope these steps will be welcomed.”
Sam Ibbott, Head of Smart Cities at EIC said: “This is very welcome news for air quality in Scotland. The funding will enable specialised equipment to be fitted to clean up buses – improving the quality of urban life while also supporting skilled engineering jobs. Buses form a central part of our public transport system and given the terrible health impacts from dirty air we must make sure they are part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
Read the full press release from Transport Scotland.