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Cardiff Council

Clean Bus Retrofit Scheme

​​​​​​​​​As part of Cardiff’s Clean Air Project a proposed package of mitigation measures has been designated to address air quality concerns highlighted for Castle Street, Cardiff. Included as part of the package of measures is a proposed bus retrofit scheme that would see bus operators operating in Cardiff competitively bid for grant funding to apply emissions upgrades to applicable vehicles.

The proposed bus retrofit scheme has been approved by the EU Commission for a value of 80% aid intensity, requiring successful operators to cover the remaining 20% cost. The total amount of applicable funding is set at £1.8 million.

As per the agreement from the EU Commission;

The application process for the proposed scheme will be open until 31 December 2020.
Financial support will end on 31 March 2021.

The application procedure, at a minimum will be reviewed with the use of a two staged approach. In the event that the sum of successful applications at stage 2 equates to more than the funding available those applicants will proceed to stage 3.

Applicants will be aware of this approach and therefore will be asked to submit their evidence for stage 3 at the time of their initial submission. In answer to the stage 3 questioning applicants will need to provide a more detailed understanding for the impacts expectant of their proposed programme of works, in this instance air quality impacts expected.

The weighted average score will only need to be considered if stage 3 assessment is needed.

Confirming the applicant is a bus operator operating public bus services in the area of Cardiff and highlighting any commercially sensitive information.

Weighted Criteria: Pass or Fail.

Stage 2 will consist of four questions which will examine 4 key areas considered for each proposal. Each question will be scored out of 100 and have a weighted contribution of 20%.  Applicants must achieve a minimum score of 50 for each question to be deemed successful at stage 2.

Q1 Strategic alignment : weighting = 20%
Q2 Delivering air quality benefits  : weighting = 20%
Q3 Deliverability  : weighting = 20%
Q4 Value for money  : weighting = 20%​

Scoring table

For a score of hundred (100): 

Excellent - Response is completely relevant and excellent overall.  The response is comprehensive, unambiguous and demonstrates a thorough understanding of the requirement and provides details of how the requirement will be met in full.

For a score of seventy (70): 

Good - Response is relevant and good.  The response demonstrates a good understanding and provides details on how the requirements will be fulfilled.

For a score of fifty (50): 

Acceptable - Response is relevant and acceptable.  The response provides sufficient evidence to fulfil basic requirements.

For a score of twenty (20): 

Poor - Response is partially relevant and/or poor.  The response addresses some elements of the requirements but contains insufficient / limited detail or explanation to demonstrate how the requirement will be fulfilled.

For a score of zero (0): 

Unacceptable - Nil or inadequate response.  Fails to demonstrate an ability to meet the requirement.


Additional question: Air Quality Impact Assessment (Weighted = 20%)

Following a stage 3 review, those applications that rank highest with the highest weighted average across the 5 questions answered will be considered successful.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate, in detail, how their proposal will perform in terms of the four key aspect areas.

As outlined in the scheme’s application conditional criteria; applicants are required to appoint the use of accredited technology which is compliant with the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)​​​​​​​​​​​External link opens in a new window.

The buses to be retrofitted can be any pre-Euro VI (6) bus that is expected to be operational on the specified routes for at least five years or for 150,000 miles after the retrofit. Buses are not authorised to be moved to other localities outside the boundary of Cardiff.

Successful applicants will need to submit progress reports after project inception reflecting on the impact of the activities initiated by the grant funding.​​

The Grant is to reimburse Capital Costs incurred and may be spent on the Accredited Technology and cost of fitting it to the buses, and the cost of and fitting of monitoring equipment. Although this is specified as a reimbursement of Capital Costs, it has been agreed that once the relevant invoices are received by the applicant from their appointed supplier for the necessary retrofit works, following the submission of a grant claim form, Cardiff Council would provide the funding to cover 80% of the invoiced cost. ​

The Grant may not be spent on:

  • Staff costs for managing the project;
  • Contributions in kind;
  • Payments for activities of a political or exclusively religious nature;
  • Depreciation, amortisation or impairment of fixed assets owned by the authority;
  • Input VAT reclaimable by the authority from HM Revenue and Customs;
  • Interest payments or service charge payments for finance leases;
  • Gifts, other than promotional items with a value of no more than £10 in a year to any one person;
  • Entertaining (which means anything that would be a taxable benefit to the person being entertained, according to current UK tax regulations); and
  • Statutory fines, criminal fines or penalties.
  • See also
  • Clean air Cardiff
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