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Scotland set to miss target for bus electrification

Published 05 September 2022 by Transform Scotland


Monday 5 September 2022

New report reveals whether Programme for Government sustainable transport commitments are being met

A new report published today (Monday 5 September 2022) finds that Scotland will miss its target for bus electrification. The Scottish Government had promised to take the majority of diesel buses off the road by the end of 2023 but Transform’s report finds that only around 16% of the Scottish bus fleet will consist of zero emission buses by the end of next year.

The report ‘Stuck in Traffic’ comes in advance of Tuesday
‘s 2022-23 PfG announcement. It reviews whether ten crucial sustainable transport commitments from the three most recent Programmes for Government are being met. Transform Scotland finds that while some of the commitments are on track, progress on others has been slow and in a few cases there has been no progress at all.

The report is available here.

Transform report author, Marie Ferdelman, said:

“To miss the bus decarbonisation target would be hugely disappointing. The target is very ambitious and there has been good progress on increasing the number of zero-emission buses on Scottish roads. But the Scottish Government should be judged on whether they can deliver on what they have promised and in this case they will not be able to do so. Efforts will have to be redoubled to transition Scotland’s bus fleet to zero-emission vehicles.

“There has been some progress on other targets, but we observed no or only slow progress on the majority of sustainable transport commitments from the past three Programmes for Government. The climate emergency and the cost of living crisis require urgent action and more delay and prevarication on delivering sustainable transport commitments is not an option. Scotland needs a low carbon, affordable transport system that does not force people into expensive and polluting car dependency.”

Ten specific commitments were chosen from the Programmes for Government that were released since the Scottish climate crisis declaration in 2019: The increase in the active travel budget and phase out of ICE vehicles was found to be on track. The report found slow or insufficient progress on delivery of under 22s free bus travel, bus priority infrastructure investment, decarbonisation of the rail service, low emission ferries and car traffic reduction. The decarbonisation of the bus fleet, bus priority on Glasgow Motorways, and the Fair Fares Review have failed to be delivered.



[1] Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland is the national alliance for sustainable transport, bringing together rail, bus and ferry operators, local authorities, national environment and conservation groups, businesses and local transport groups — see <> for details.