Rochdale-based manufacturer Mellor has criticised the Department for Transport (DfT) after learning that manufacturers of passenger vehicles with a passenger capacity less than 23 are excluded from financial support in the Government’s £3bn ‘Bus Back Better’ strategy.
The Zero-Emission Buses Regional Area (ZEBRA) funding includes £120m for the provision of up to 500 new ‘British-built zeroemission buses.’ Mellor has claimed there is a ‘big bus bias’ towards market-dominant larger vehicles.
The company argued the decision ‘fundamentally disregards the needs of smaller bus operators,’ including those concerned with rural routes, community groups, and others.
Mark Clissett, Bus Division Manager at Mellor, said: “Yes, we’re supportive of the Government’s funding for a zero emissions public transport infrastructure, 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.