Councils bag £30m for greener buses

Thirteen winners will receive a share of the government’s £30 million low emission bus fund to add 326 new buses to their fleets.

Bus operators and local authorities across England have been awarded a share of the funding to buy low emission buses - including electric, hybrid, hydrogen and biomethane buses - and install chargepoints and other infrastructure.

Among the successful bidders are 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, and Nottingham City Transport which has received £4.4 million for 53 biomethane buses and infrastructure.

Birmingham City Council and Transport for London have jointly been awarded £2.8 million for 42 state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cell buses, while the Sheffield City Region has been awarded £1.3 million for 44 buses fitted with hybrid technology. Merseytravel has received £4.9million for a total of 72 biomethane, hybrid or electric buses and associated infrastructure.

The new 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.

Speaking in Sheffield, 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.”