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Government awards £30 million funding for cleaner, greener bus journeys

Thirteen winners receive share of low emission bus fund to add 326 new buses to their fleets.

Bus passengers will benefit from cleaner, greener journeys thanks to £30 million of government funding confirmed today, Monday 25 July 2016, by Transport Minister Andrew Jones.

Bus operators and local authorities across England have been awarded a share of the funding to buy low emission buses and install chargepoints and other infrastructure. In total, the 13 successful bidders will be able to add 326 buses – including electric, hybrid, hydrogen and biomethane buses – to their fleets, and install more than £7 million worth of infrastructure.

Among the winners is Sheffield City Region, which has been awarded £1.3 million for 44 buses fitted with hybrid technology.

During a visit to the city, Transport Minister Andrew Jones said:

My message is clear – greener buses are good for passengers and good for British business.

Low emission buses have already proved to be a real success across the country. They are cost efficient, good for the environment, and there are wider benefits. We have provided more than £2 billion of funding to greener transport schemes since 2011, and by supporting this technology the government is ensuring the UK is driving innovation and investment up and down the country.

Other successful bidders include:

  • West Midlands Travel, which has been awarded more than £3 million to fund 10 hybrid and 19 fully electric buses, and install electric charging facilities
  • Birmingham City Council and Transport for London, which has jointly won £2.8 million for 42 state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cell buses
  • Merseytravel, which has received £4.9million for a total of 72 biomethane, hybrid or electric buses and associated infrastructure
  • Nottingham City Transport which has received £4.4 million for 53 biomethane buses and infrastructure

Low emission buses produce at least 15% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the average modern diesel bus but they typically cost significantly more. The funding will cover up to 90% of the difference in cost between a new bus and its diesel equivalent, as well as up to 75% of the cost of infrastructure.

The low emission bus scheme builds on the Green Bus Fund, which saw £89 million of government funding put more than 1,200 green buses on England’s roads – representing 4% of buses in service. The government has also invested more than £26 million since 2013 to retrofit more than 2,000 buses in pollution hotspots with low emission technology.

The government’s support for low emission buses is one part of a £600 million package of measures from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles by 2020, which also includes £400 million of guaranteed money for individual plug-in car grants, investment in ultra-low emission taxis, and research and development funding for innovative technology such as lighter vehicles and better car batteries.

A full list of winning bids under the low emission bus scheme is available.

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