Councils get £7m to deliver greener buses in pollution hotspots

Pic: Andrew Nash

Eighteen councils have secured almost in Government grants to retrofit buses with green technology capable of cutting harmful emissions by up to 90 per cent.

More than £6.8m from the Clean Bus Technology Fund will be used to upgrade 439 buses operating in pollution hotpots.

To secure funding, local authorities had to show evidence that retrofit technology would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by at least 50 per cent. Councils will also have to monitor the schemes and provide evidence of their effectiveness.

The buses, which collective complete more than a million journeys a year, will be fitted with exhaust gas treatment systems to deliver what is known as selective catalytic reduction.

Successful bidders include Centro, the West Midlands integrated transport authority, which is receiving £486,000 to convert 27 buses in Birmingham. A further 123 conversions will be funded locally.

Grant funding is also going to Transport for London, the Sheffield City-Region Combined Authority, Transport for Greater Manchester and MerseyTravel, along with councils in Leeds, Bristol, Norfolk, Brighton & Hove, York and Lancashire.

Transport minister Andrew Jones said: "Greener buses mean cleaner town and city centres and a healthier environment for everyone. The upgraded buses that will soon hit the roads in England continue our commitment to better air quality by investing in greener transport.

"By targeting pollution hotspots and backing the low-emission technology of the future, we are making the right long-term decisions to improve people's lives."