Local Transport Minister Norman Baker announced today that GBP5m from the Clean Bus Technology Fund has been awarded to eleven local authorities in towns and cities in England for the upgrade of nearly 400 older buses, helping to clean up emissions in some of the most polluted urban areas.
The clean Bus Technology Fund was launched in June and 31 local authorities outside of Greater London, where air quality does not meet European Commission standards, submitted bids for grants of up to GBP1m to support upgrading buses with pollution-reducing technology.
The entrants were asked to develop new technologies that demonstrated the likelihood of success in improving air quality. They could also use proven technologies, such as exhaust after-treatment and conversion to hybrid propulsion or cleaner low carbon fuels. Within the top 11 local authorities, new technologies included a hybrid flywheel, which can deliver up to 20% fuel reduction and harmful emissions, a gas engine replacement and other innovative modifications.
The projects had to meet 5 criteria: to fit with the objectives of establishing the best technologies and development of the retrofit industry; air quality impact; value for money; deliverability; and if they offered cross-cutting benefits such as encouraging economic growth.
The 11 winning areas are West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive; Merseytravel; Greater Manchester; Southampton City Council; Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council; Suffolk County Council; Gateshead Council, Newcastle City Council and Nexus; Lincolnshire County Council and City of Lincoln Council; St Albans City and District Council; Cheshire West and Cheshire Borough Council; and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
The Environment Minister Lord de Mauley said “This funding boost will bring real improvements to air quality around the country which is good news for the environment and our health. I am keen to embrace new technology and encourage local authorities to share their experience so that others can follow suit.”