The government has announced an award to 20 local authorities from the Clean Bus Technology Fund.
Speaking at the UK Bus Summit, Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani set out how the funding would enable older buses to be modified to meet emission standards and contribute to improved air quality, saying, “Buses and coaches are hugely important to those who rely on them and to the communities in which these people live and work. Road transport is going to change dramatically over the next couple of decades – and we have to make sure that the bus industry is ready to benefit from those changes. We have to move away from nose-to-tail car traffic at peak times, endless engine idling, stop-start travel and rising pollution and carbon emissions. Rather than contributing to the problem – buses and coaches very much form part of the solution.”
In addition, the Department for Transport will use the Bus Services Act to encourage councils and bus companies to increase public use of bus services. In 2016 the government invested £30 million through the Low Emission Bus Scheme which resulted in more than 300 new low emission buses entering service, and in 2017 an additional £11 million brought a further 150 buses on to the UK’s roads.
Environment Minister Therese Coffey said, “I am delighted to see so many high quality applications to the Clean Bus Technology Fund and, as a result, the government has decided to bring forward funding meaning that we will award nearly £40 million to retrofit more than 2,700 buses.”