Over 150 new low carbon buses will join fleets throughout England saving around 50,000 tonnes of CO2, thanks to £15 million of additional government funding, Transport Minister, Norman Baker, announced today (5 July 2010).
The funding is intended to put low carbon buses within the reach of as many operators and local authorities as possible throughout England.
Bus operators and councils can bid for the money which they can then use towards the additional up front cost of buying low carbon buses.
Transport Minister, Norman Baker, said:
We want to support new transport technologies to help make our transport system greener and more sustainable.
This investment will stimulate the market for low carbon buses by reducing some of the initial costs for operators and councils. It will deliver significant benefits, in particular reducing the impact of road transport on climate change and improving air quality.
Low carbon buses use at least 30% less fuel and emit nearly a third less carbon than a conventional bus, yet they currently make up just 0.2% of buses on the road.
The funding will support investment in more low carbon buses as well as addressing the information gap about their performance by requiring the winning bidders to share information with others in the industry.
Business Minister, Mark Prisk, said:
This investment will help us deliver our commitment to build a low-carbon economy which will boost economic growth as well as help meet our ambitious climate change targets.
By placing ourselves at the forefront of the green technology revolution we will encourage future manufacturing success, generate new jobs and over the long run create new export opportunities.
Notes to editors
The first round of the green bus fund competition was run in 2009 with the winning 24 bidders announced in December 2009. The 24 winners are sharing £30 million which is supporting the purchase of around 350 new low carbon buses. This second round will see an additional £15 million being awarded in 2010.
A low carbon emission bus (LCEB) is a bus that is able to achieve the LCEB target for greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to a 30% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions compared to a current Euro 3 diesel bus of the same total passenger capacity. These buses will all meet the latest air quality standards, delivering at least Euro V EU emission standards.
Bus operators and local authorities will be able to bid for funding towards 90% of the difference between the cost of a LCEB and the cost of its standard diesel equivalent. The department will assess the bids against published criteria and will award grant to the winners. This grant will help to meet the upfront cost of the vehicles.
The fund is also available for very low and zero emission vehicles, such as electric vehicles, and the department would be interested in receiving bids which covered the demonstrations of such buses in regular use for services.