Combined Authority Bids for New Zero-Emissions Bus Fleet

West Yorkshire Combined Authority has submitted a bid for funding from the Department for Transport as part of its £58 million plan to introduce 111 new zero-emission buses across the region.

If the £23 million bid to the Zero Emissions Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) fund is successful, it will deliver 47 double-decker buses for Arriva, 32 single-decker buses for First and 32 single-decker buses for Transdev across Bradford, Wakefield and Leeds.

The ZEBRA bid is part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s wider ambition to introduce zero-emission buses across the region, helping to reduce harmful emissions. This includes £4 million allocated to introduce zero-emission buses in Kirklees and Calderdale which is funded through the Transforming Cities Fund.

The ZEBRA bid complements West Yorkshire’s Bus Service Improvement Plan, which has an objective to introduce more green and better vehicles and was agreed by the Combined Authority in October 2021.

Tracy Brabin, West Yorkshire Mayor, said:

“When I was elected Mayor, I pledged to improve public transport by introducing greener buses to improve the environment. If our ZEBRA bid is successful it will mean an almost tenfold increase in the number of zero-emissions buses running on our roads, from 2% now to over10% of the total West Yorkshire bus fleet.

“As well as making this bid, I’ll continue to work with bus manufacturers, operators and the Department for Transport to bring more zero-emission buses to West Yorkshire and make them a common and welcome sight on our roads.”

A green, zero-emission bus system is a core element of the Combined Authority’s long-term vision for buses in West Yorkshire. New vehicles will also deliver a step-change in onboard facilities and accessibility support, such as level boarding, wheelchair spaces and on-board stop announcements for the visually impaired.

The £23 million bid to the Department for Transport is matched by a £33 million contribution from the bus operators.

Cllr Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: 

“I’m pleased to see our three largest bus operators, Arriva, First and Transdev, working together with the Combined Authority on this bid. If we’re successful it will bring state-of-the-art zero-emission buses to Bradford and Wakefield for the first time.

“This bid forms an important part of our Bus Service Improvement Plan, which aims to bring improvements to passengers before and during their travel, making the bus an attractive alternative to cars for short trips and commuting as well as reducing harmful emissions along congested corridors.”

If the bid is successful, the new vehicles could be deployed across Bradford and Wakefield by 2024.