Scottish Government supports second retrofit funding round with BEAR

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£7.89m funding available for operators in phase two of the scheme

The Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit (BEAR), funded by Scottish Government and delivered by the Energy Saving Trust, is to offer a second round of funding for the nation’s operators.

The scheme allows existing vehicles to be retrofitted with Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)-accredited technology to reduce harmful emissions.

The conversion to Euro VI standard enables the vehicles to meet the requirements of new Low Emission Zones (LEZ) by reducing both the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NOx) and particulate matter.

The first seven of 42 buses awarded funding from the first phase of the BEAR scheme were revealed at McGill’s following retrofit.

A total of 23 buses have now been retrofitted under the BEAR scheme, typically resulting in a 95% reduction in NOx gases.

Amir Rauf, Vehicle Retrofits Programme Manager at Energy Saving Trust commented: “With £7.89m funding available for Scottish bus and coach retrofitting in BEAR phase 2, I strongly encourage operators to apply before the deadline of 8 March 2019.

“Our team are available for an initial discussion and to support the application process.”

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “This scheme is breathing new life into buses and I’m proud that the Scottish Government is supporting a second round of the BEAR fund.”

Ralph Roberts, McGill’s Managing Director commented: “McGill’s fleet replacement policy is ahead of schedule and we operated Glasgow’s first LEZ compliant buses from as long ago as 2014.

Nevertheless, the Glasgow LEZ will mean that by January 2023, 30% of our fleet will still be well within its serviceable life but not compliant with LEZ.

This initial scheme has allowed seven buses to be improved from Euro V status to Euro VI status via the fitment of exhaust after-treatment.”