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‘Cleaner, greener buses’ projects wins £6m Government funding

‘Cleaner, greener buses’ projects wins £6m Government funding

🕔26.Jul 2016

Bus passengers will benefit from cleaner, greener journeys thanks to £6 million of government funding awarded to partnerships in Birmingham and the West Midlands, Transport Minister Andrew Jones has announced.

The money, part of a £30 million national pot, will help operators and local authorities to invest in low emission buses and install charge points and other infrastructure.

Mr Jones confirmed that West Midlands Travel has been awarded more than £3 million to fund 10 hybrid and 19 fully electric buses, and install electric charging facilities, while Birmingham city council and Transport for London has jointly won £2.8 million for 42 state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cell buses.

Mr 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.

Successful bidders for a share of the Government funding include:

  • Sheffield City Region, which has been awarded £1.3 million for 44 buses fitted with hybrid technology.
  • 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.

In total, the 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.

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

Commenting on the support shown for the scheme, Anne Shaw, assistant director for transportation and connectivity at Birmingham city council said:

It is great that our efforts to work in partnership with transport operators to make Birmingham’s air cleaner are being backed by government.

We are working on a wide range of projects to develop cleaner technologies and solutions to address air quality issues – this funding will help place the city at the forefront of what is being done.

As well as tackling one of society’s biggest public health challenges, this programme of research and development will open up employment and business opportunities for Birmingham.

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