Supporting Blackpool Council secure £19.6m of government funding for 115 new electric buses
In March 2022, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that Blackpool was one of just 12 local transport authorities in England to be successful in its bid for Zero Emissions Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) funding. Stantec provided critical consultancy support to Blackpool Transport Services and Blackpool Council to help make this happen.
Our team was initially commissioned by Blackpool Transport Services (BTS) to help prepare an Expression of Interest for the ZEBRA scheme in 2021. The proposal described replacing the diesel fleet with 115 new fully electric zero emission buses and explained how the project would address air quality issues in the town. Following short-listing for phase 2 of the ZEBRA scheme Blackpool required a full business case, prepared to HM Treasury Green Book standards in accordance with the ‘five case’ model used by DfT to assess and support investment options. Over six months in 2021-22, we worked closely with Council officers and BTS directors to build a compelling business case for the funding.
The application was approved in full and the award of £19.6m means that the Council secured almost 10% of the national budget. The funding covers 75% of the cost of replacing Blackpool’s existing diesel bus fleet with new fully electric buses, including the associated energy and charging infrastructure.
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