Passengers across the country will benefit from a multi-million pound government investment which will help councils and bus companies put more environmentally-friendly buses on the roads.
Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani has today (28 March 2018) announced a new Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme aimed at cutting emissions and ensuring cleaner and greener journeys.
The programme will see local authorities and operators in England and Wales bid for a share of a £48 million fund, which they can use to buy hundreds of new ultra-low emission buses as well as the infrastructure to support them.
This is part of the government’s commitment through the Industrial Strategy to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the transport sector.
Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani said:
We are doing more than ever before to reduce greenhouse gas pollution across all modes of transport and we are committed to ensuring nearly all cars and vans are emissions-free at their tailpipes by 2050.
In order to achieve this ambitious target, the transport sector is going to have to change dramatically over the next couple of decades – and buses are no exception.
We are confident this scheme will encourage councils and operators to invest in these ultra-low emission vehicles - speeding up the full transition to a low emission bus fleet in England and Wales.
The new scheme follows the success of the previous Low Emission Bus Scheme. This led to 13 organisations receiving more than £30 million between them – enough to put more than 300 new low-emission buses on the road by 2019.
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said:
Today’s announcement is a fantastic step in the UK’s fight against air pollution and we’re delighted that the government has recognised the important and vital role that buses play in helping reducing harmful emissions. The cleanest diesel buses emit fewer emissions overall than the cleanest diesel cars, despite being able to carry 20 times more passengers.
Buses are also the lifeblood of our communities, connecting families and getting people to work. Today’s announcement sends a positive message that the government is serious about connecting the communities it serves and committed to putting the bus at the heart of the clean air solution.
The current funding comes as part of a wider £100 million scheme announced in November 2016 to support low-emission buses.
Through our ambitious Industrial Strategy we have committed to publishing a strategy on the pathway to zero emissions road transport which will discuss how the transport sector is going to have to change dramatically to cut down on harmful emissions. The Prime Minister announced in December 2017 that the UK would host a zero emission vehicle Summit in Autumn 2018.
The Industrial Strategy sets out a long term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK. It sets out how we are building a Britain fit for the future - how we will help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.