Bus manufacturer Mellor has criticised the Department for Transport decision to exclude buses with less than 23-passengers capacity from financial support in its £3billion bus strategy for England.
Recently announced Zero-Emission Buses Regional Area (ZEBRA) funding includes £120million for the provision of up to 500 new British-built zero-emission buses. Mellor, the Rochdale-based leading manufacturer of size-appropriate buses, describes the move as ‘big bus bias’ towards market-dominant larger vehicles acquired primarily by major UK fleet customers for services in principal towns and cities.
“We’re supportive of the government’s funding for a zero emissions public transport infrastructure,” says Mellor bus division managing director Mark Clissett, ”but we can clearly see a big bus bias here, with funding set aside exclusively for fleet operations with larger vehicles in major towns and cities. It’s grossly unfair to the small bus sector generally, especially given the growing demand for more size-appropriate vehicles for essential rural and niche community transport services.
“At the very least, all stakeholders should be given the opportunity to judge for themselves the positive impact zero-emission size-appropriate vehicles can make to our entire bus network.”