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Scottish Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit Programme

Phase 2

In 2017/18 the Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit (BEAR) Phase 1 scheme successfully awarded funding for 47 buses to be converted to Euro VI standard to help reduce pollution levels in Air Quality Management Areas.

Additional funding of £7.89 million has now been allocated to the delivery of BEAR Phase 2 for Scottish bus and coach retrofitting in 2018/19.
BEAR Phase 2 is now open. Early applications are recommended as bid success is based on strategic fit and are considered on a first come, first served basis. Energy Saving Trust will communicate application outcome within 10 working days of receipt. The final deadline for applications is 12 noon on 8 March 2019.  Applications received after this time will not be considered.

The programme aims to fit 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 in Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). BEAR Phase 2 will fund retrofit technology measures accredited by CVRAS to improve emissions to Euro VI standard or better. 

The eligible technologies which can be funded for retrofitting are:

  • Selective Catalytic Reduction Traps to reduce diesel emissions
  • E-fans to reduce fuel consumption
  • Hybrid drive conversions
  • Electric drive conversions
  • Gas engine conversions
  • New technology types.

Successful applicants can access grant funding from Transport Scotland towards both primary and ancillary costs up to a maximum of £3,500,000 per bidder. 

The funding is available to licensed bus and coach operators, local authorities and community transport operators located in, or operating eligible vehicles based on routes within one of Scotland’s cities identified in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2017 LEZ commitment (i.e. Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow) and/or one of Scotland’s Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). Energy Saving Trust will administer BEAR Phase 2 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 (PSV) operator licence or used for voluntary, community or other non-profit making purpose.
  • Less than 13 years old at time of application.
  • A remaining service life of at least 5 years in Scotland.
  • Conforming to Euro IV or V emission standards from factory.


Operators need to: 

  • Provide a statement outlining how services will be delivered in a LEZ and/or AQMA. 
  • Provide quarterly telematics data demonstrating both daily NOx and PM abatement per bus, maintenance of equipment, daily AdBlue consumption, daily mileage, mpg, GPS location of bus; all for a 5-year period. 
  • Provide at least 12 consecutive months of historical fuel consumption data for each specific vehicle prior to retrofitting in order to effectively monitor and evaluate any associated impact on fuel consumption and efficiency resulting from retrofitting.
  • Have a history of effective maintenance and agree to commit to an agreed maintenance cycle as part of the application process.

Application guidance

Please refer to the following documents:




Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit                                                                  Transport Scotland


If you have any questions please get in touch.

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