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Buses to be retrofitted with green technology across 18 councils

Successful council bids for around £7m of Department for Transport (DfT) funding announced yesterday will see almost 450 buses in England fitted with green technology to slash harmful emissions by up to 90%.

The Clean Bus Technology Fund 2015, awarded to 18 local authorities, will pay for the retrofitting of 439 buses with new technology to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in pollution hotspots – which could significantly improve air quality in city centres due to green buses’ high mileage and long operational life.

The upgraded buses involved in this fund will complete more than one million journeys a year. They will now be fitted with exhaust gas treatment systems called ‘selective catalytic reduction’ and returned to the roads straight after the upgrade.

The cash race, launched in September of last year, asked councils wishing to bid for a share of up to £500,000 from the fund to show evidence that the technology would reduce harmful emissions by at least 50%.

Most of the buses are being upgraded across Yorkshire & Humberside, which will benefit from nearly £2m of DfT cash to convert 121 vehicles – mostly due to Leeds City Council’s bid.

This is more than double the amount of buses being retrofitted in London and significantly above the fund’s ‘runner-up’ region, the north west, which will roll out 93 green buses.

Transport minister Andrew Jones commented: “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.”

Winning councils must now continue to monitor the scheme and provide evidence of its effectiveness.

(Top image c. Department for Transport)


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