More than 120 buses in Leeds, Sheffield, York, Harrogate and West Yorkshire will be fitted with green technology to cut harmful emissions by up to 90%, after successful bids for £1,965,500 of funding was announced.
The Clean Bus Technology Fund 2015 is being awarded to 18 local authorities across England to retrofit buses with technology to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in pollution hotspots. Due to their high mileage and long operational life, introducing greener buses can significantly help air quality in town and city centres. The buses upgraded from this fund in Yorkshire will complete 420,000 journeys a year.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said:
Greener buses mean a cleaner town and city centres for Yorkshire and a healthier environment for everyone. The 121 upgraded buses that will soon hit the roads in Yorkshire 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.
To win awards, local authorities had to show evidence that the technology would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by at least 50%. The buses will be fitted with exhaust gas treatment systems called selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and will be back on the roads after their upgrade. As part of the award, councils must continue to monitor the schemes and provide evidence of their effectiveness.
Alex Hornby, Chief Executive at Transdev, said:
We’re already investing heavily in cleaner technologies with 52 new buses being delivered for our customers in 2016, and a number of 100% electric buses already in service in York and Harrogate including the world’s first electric double decker. With these further upgrades we’re really going to be making a difference helping to deliver more and more greener journeys for our communities.
We want our customers to be proud of their local bus services, and we’re certain that with our continued commitment to improving buses, networks and the environment we work and live in, we’ll be well on our way to achieving this.
This new fund, worth around £7million, adds to the £20 million invested by the government in retrofit schemes and is in addition to significant match funding by local authorities and support from bus operators to improve air quality since 2011. This has ensured over 2,000 buses have already been upgraded across England to cut emissions.
The Clean Bus Technology Fund is a core part of the government’s commitment to green transport which has seen £2 billion worth of measures introduced since 2011. Upgrading existing transport sits alongside the government’s £600 million investment in low-emission technology over the next five years, with the aim of making almost every car and van zero emission by 2050.