£15m cash-boost to fund green buses

Up to 50,000 tonnes of CO2 could be saved over the next year, according to a £15million government cash boost to more than a dozen green-transport schemes.

The prize fund was announced by local transport minister Norman Baker last week, and will be distributed among the winners of the second round of the government’s Green Bus Fund.

The Green Bus Fund aims to encourage and help bus operators and local authorities to buy new hybrid and electric buses.

This latest round of funding will afford the winning organisations the purchase of around 170 vehicles, which will operate in most of England’s main cities and some rural areas by March 2012.

“Low carbon buses use at least 30 per cent less fuel and emit nearly a third less carbon than a conventional bus, yet they currently make up just 0.2 per cent of buses on the road,” said Mr Baker.

“This sector therefore has tremendous potential to reduce the impact of road transport on climate change. The Green Bus Fund is vital to unlocking this potential and will also stimulate a growing market.”

The £15million will go towards the additional up-front cost of buying low carbon buses and should provide the capital investment required to bring down costs for operators.

Twenty-four bidders shared a haul of £30million in the irst round of the competition, which is helping to support the purchase of around 350 new low carbon buses.

Details of this latest round of funding are as follows:

·Transport for London (54 buses to be funded)

·Stagecoach North East (26)

·Stagecoach Yorkshire (21)

·Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (19)

·Oxford Bus Company (17)

·East Yorkshire Motor Services Limited (eight)

·First Bristol Somerset and Avon (eight)

·Manchester Airport Group (five)

·Guideissue Limited T/A Bakerbus (Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford) (three)

·Nottingham City Council (two)

·Dorset County Council (two)

·University Bus Limited (St Albans) (two)

·Reading Transport Limited (one)

·Johnsons Coaches (Stratford-upon-Avon) (one)

Sam Plester

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