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Scottish Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit Programme

Phase 1

Transport Scotland’s Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit (BEAR) programme - Phase 1 has now closed for applications. Energy Saving Trust (EST) administers the fund on behalf of Transport Scotland. 

£1.6 million of funding has been allocated to the delivery of BEAR Phase 1. The programme aims to fit at least 55 buses/coaches with Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) accredited retrofit technology measures to support the delivery of Scotland’s Low Emission Zones (LEZs) by reducing nitrogen dioxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions.

BEAR Phase 1 will only fund retrofit technology measures accredited by CVRAS. The eligible technologies are:

  • Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) units to reduce NOx emissions by reacting with ammonia over a catalyst to emit harmless emissions of nitrogen and water and
  • Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) to reduce PM exhaust emissions.

Funding will provide successful applicants with grant or grant and loan funding for both primary and ancillary costs of up to a maximum of £25,000 per vehicle, and no more than £350,000 per applicant. 

The funding is available to licensed bus operators (including community transport operators) located in or operating eligible vehicles based on routes within one of Scotland’s cities identified in the Programme for Government 2017 LEZ commitment (i.e. Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow) and/or one of Scotland’s Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). EST will administer BEAR Phase 1 based on set eligibility criteria for grant funding agreed with Transport Scotland.


Eligible vehicles must meet the following criteria:

  • Buses and coaches operated under a Public Service Vehicle operator licence or used for voluntary, community or other non-profit making purpose.
  • Less than 13 years old.
  • A remaining service life of at least 5 years.
  • Conforming to Euro III, IV or V emission standards.
  • Where eligible, Euro III, Euro IV and Euro V vehicles will not be required to already be fitted with AdBlue, but will need to have AdBlue fitted as part of the retrofit.
  • Have at least 12 consecutive months of fuel consumption data for each specific vehicle in order to effectively monitor and evaluate any associated impact on fuel consumption and efficiency resulting from retrofit installation.
  • Operator must provide a statement outlining how services will be delivered in a LEZ and/or AQMA. 
  • Have a history of effective maintenance and agree to commit to an agreed maintenance cycle as part of the application process.

Please note applications are now closed for Phase 1.

Application guidance

Please refer to the following documents:

Assessment process

The BEAR Phase 1 assessment process is open, transparent and fair for all applicants. There are three key stages to the assessment of applications – application screening, application scoring and the Assessment Panel. For more information, please refer to the Assessment Process Guidance:




Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit                                                                  Transport Scotland


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