Local authorities will be given the chance to bid for grants of up to £1m from the Department for Transport’s Clean Bus Technology Fund. This will then be used to upgrade local buses with pollution-reducing technologies such as cleaner engines or exhaust after-treatment equipment.

Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “Improving air quality is important for the coalition government. This £5m scheme will help clean up emissions from older buses in some of our most polluted urban areas.

“It will lead to real improvements in air quality on some of our more polluted streets, as well as helping stimulate jobs and growth in the bus and retrofit industries. In addition it will give British companies the opportunity to market new technologies to overseas bus operators and governments,” he added.

The scheme is in addition to the £12m funding announced last month for 213 new low carbon buses in the latest round of the Green Bus Fund. Whilst last month’s announcement was for new buses, the £5m announced today will be for retrofitting current buses with green technology.

It also follows upgrades that are currently being made to 900 older London buses that operate on routes with some of the worst air quality.

Leigh Stringer

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