£101m funding to green bus network

The Department for Transport has unveiled plans to increase the number of low carbon buses across England - thanks to a new £101m package of improvements.

Announcing the initiative today (March 23), local transport minister Norman Baker said the funding would help cut carbon emissions, improve air quality and reduce congestion.

Mr Baker said: “This funding means a better deal for passengers and encourages more people to travel by bus. It updates and improves services and infrastructure, reduces congestion, gives quieter journeys and with the introduction of new carbon-friendly buses, reduces fuel costs and CO2 emissions, creating a greener network.”

The largest share of the funding will go to 24 local authorities across England, which will receive £70m under the Better Bus Area (BBA) fund to boost growth, improve partnerships with bus companies and increase bus passenger numbers.

The remaining funds will be spent on the Government’s Green Bus Fund, which aims to reduce emissions and encourage bus operators and local councils to switch to hybrid-electric, fully electric or gas buses, which will receive £31m to spend on 439 low carbon buses.

As a result, 26 bus operators, including Stagecoach, Arriva and First, will gain £22m of the funding with the remaining £8m split between five local authorities. It is anticipated bus manufacturers Volvo, Wrightbus, Optare, MAN and Alexander Dennis LTD will be used to supply the hybrid, electric and gas buses, which are anticipated to be in service from spring 2013.

Carys Matthews

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