An extra £20 million is being made available for the government’s Green Bus Fund Transport Minister Norman Baker has announced today (6 November 2012).
And in a second boost for low carbon buses Mr Baker has today (6 November 2012) launched an easy-to-use toolkit to allow local authorities and bus operators to make informed decisions on investing in carbon cutting buses.
The £20 million funding will be the fourth round of the Green Bus Fund, bringing the total support for this initiative to £95 million since its launch.
The additional funding has been found from an underspend in the Department for Transport’s budget and those wishing to buy green buses will be able to apply for the round four support this financial year.
Norman Baker said:
Cutting carbon emissions from transport is not a choice, it is a necessity and that is why I am prioritising green buses and giving operators and local authorities an extra £20 million to deliver on this.
Our new toolkit will be indispensible in allowing those considering investment in low carbon buses to see the advantages for themselves.
The new online low carbon bus calculator will make it easier to quickly work out the savings that can be made over time through cheaper running costs and fuel efficiency.
Details on the bidding process and eligibility will be published soon on the department’s website.
A new low carbon bus toolkit will help operators and local authorities work out how the finances might stack up, with or without support from the Green Bus Fund.
Those wanting to work out how long it will take for a low carbon bus to pay for itself can now go online and use the new calculator which will allow them to quickly work this out using assumptions around capital costs and fuel efficiency.
While buses using low carbon technologies tend to be more expensive than conventional buses many are eligible for government support and running costs are usually lower so that, over time, they are actually the more economical choice.
The toolkit launched today (6 November 2012) will allow councils and operators to see at a glance how quickly they can expect a return on investment in low carbon buses using a variety of carbon saving technologies such as hybrid or electric buses. It also shows operators and local authorities the savings on offer through reduced running costs from low carbon buses compared with running a bus using conventional fuels.
The toolkit also allows the user to tailor the calculation of costs to their specific circumstances.
The toolkit is available on the department’s website.
Notes to editors
Round 4 of the Green Bus Fund was launched on the 6 November 2012. Bidding and eligibility guidance for the 4th round will be issued shortly on the Department for Transport website.
Scotland is holding a separate £3 million competition.
The budget for round 4 of the fund is £20 million with the funding coming from an underspend in the department’s budget.
This is the 4th round of the government’s grant. Round 1 was launched in 2009 and paid up to 100% of the difference, with round 2 paying up to 90% and round 3 up to 80%.
Read further information about the fund.
Buses funded through the Green Bus Fund are eligible for the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) low carbon bus incentive of 6 pence for every kilometre operated in service.
Previous rounds of the Green Bus Fund have part funded diesel hybrid buses, which run on a combination of diesel and a battery, fully electric buses and biomethane-fuelled gas buses. Eligibility for the 4th round will be published shortly.
Each year, every low carbon bus in London saves around 26 tonnes of CO₂ compared with its diesel equivalent, with buses outside London estimated to save around 22 tonnes.