£1.4m for greener buses
Five local authorities are to receive a share of ￡1.4m to cut pollution from buses. The councils are: Brighton and Hove City Council (￡750,000 for 50 buses), Sunderland City Council and Durham County Council (￡275,500 for 19 buses), Oxford City Council (￡199,995 for 11 buses), Swale Borough Council (￡150,000 for ten buses) and City of York Council (￡23,700 for two buses). This new funding comes two months after an initial ￡5m was awarded to 11 local authorities to reduce harmful emissions from 392 buses followed by a further ￡1.1m to five authorities to upgrade 45 buses. All of these authorities have proposed to use Selective Catalytic Reduction technology fitted to exhaust systems to reduce pollutants. The announcement follows assessment of bids for the Clean Bus Technology Fund launched in June 2013. 31 local authorities in England (outside of Greater London) bid for grants of up to ￡1m to support upgrading buses with pollution reducing technology on the routes where air quality does not meet European Commission standards.
Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, said, ‘This extra funding means more buses can be cleaned up so that they put out less pollution. Dozens of buses in five distinct areas will be improved with the money I am making available today, improving air quality for local communities. It will also boost jobs and growth by helping to stimulate our cutting edge green technology. I look forward to seeing the results of all the initiatives under the Clean Bus Technology Fund and I hope other local authorities will follow suit.’