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Press Release 30 January 2019 Updated 15 January 2021

Bus retrofit installations delivering cleaner air

Funded by Scottish Government and delivered by Energy Saving Trust, the Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit (BEAR) scheme enables Scottish bus operators to retrofit their existing vehicles with Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) accredited technology which reduces harmful emissions. The conversion to Euro VI standard enables the vehicles to meet the requirements of new Low Emission Zones (LEZ) by reducing the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) produced.

Today (31 January), the first seven of 42 buses awarded funding from the BEAR phase 1 scheme were revealed at McGill’s following retrofit. A total of 23 buses have now been retrofitted under the BEAR scheme, helping to improve air quality in the country’s towns and cities. Retrofitting buses typically results in a 95% reduction in NOx gases which cause health impacts for the people of Scotland.

Amir Rauf, vehicle retrofits programme manager at Energy Saving Trust commented: “The BEAR funding to retrofit buses to meet Euro VI criteria plays a significant role in reducing pollution in our towns and cities. Low Emission Zones are critical to improve air quality and their implementation is set for country-wide rollout at pace so it’s important bus operators prepare to meet new regulations.

“With £7.89 million funding available for Scottish bus and coach retrofitting in BEAR phase 2, I strongly encourage operators to apply before the deadline of 8 March 2019. Our team are available for an initial discussion and to support the application process.”

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “This scheme is breathing new life into buses and I’m proud that the Scottish Government is supporting a second round of the BEAR fund. It directly assists the older bus fleet comply with Low Emission Zones in order to help improve the quality of the air in our towns and cities.

“I am committed to continuing to support our vital bus sector which plays a key role in keeping Scotland moving as well as being an important part of the solution to the issue of air quality.”

Ralph Roberts, McGill’s Managing Director commented: “McGill’s fleet replacement policy is ahead of schedule and we operated Glasgow’s first LEZ compliant buses from as long ago as 2014. Nevertheless, the Glasgow LEZ will mean that by January 2023, 30% of our fleet will still be well within its serviceable life but not compliant with LEZ. This initial scheme has allowed 7 buses to be improved from Euro V status to Euro VI status via the fitment of exhaust after-treatment. McGill’s remains committed to achieving LEZ status as soon as possible.”

Further information on phase two of the Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit (BEAR) is available here.

Further information on Low Emission Zones at

For further information, contact:


  • Gerry Irvine, Johnstone Depot Manager, McGill’s Buses
  • Mark Cooper, Managing Director, HJS Emission Technology
  • James Salmon, Project Engineering Manager, HJS Emission Technology
  • Amir Rauf, Programme Manager: Vehicle Retrofits, Energy Saving Trust

Energy Saving Trust

Energy Saving Trust is an independent organisation dedicated to promoting energy efficiency, low carbon transport and sustainable energy use. We aim to address the climate emergency and deliver the wider benefits of clean energy as the UK transitions to net zero.

We empower householders to make better choices, deliver transformative programmes for governments and support businesses with strategy, research and assurance – enabling everyone to play their part in building a sustainable future.

Energy Saving Trust’s transport advice is funded by Transport Scotland, an agency of the Scottish Government.

Transport Scotland

Transport Scotland is the Scottish Government’s national transport agency responsible for aviation, bus, freight and road policy; coordinating the National Transport Strategy for Scotland; ferries, ports and harbours; impartial travel services; liaising with regional transport partnerships, including monitoring of funding; local roads policy; major public transport projects; national concessionary travel schemes; rail and trunk road networks; sustainable transport, road safety and accessibility, and the Blue Badge Scheme. Transport Scotland is an Executive agency accountable to Scottish Ministers.

Last updated: 15 January 2021