£25m funding boost for bus retrofits

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Over 1,800 buses will become Euro VI-compliant thanks to the funding

Local authorities across Britain are to benefit from a £25m bus retrofit grant.

The latest round of funding from the Clean Bus Technology Fund, which was launched in 2017, will support retrofit projects in 14 regions to help improve air quality.

Last year, the fund provided 20 local authorities with a total of £40m in funding to enhance the environmental credentials of hundreds of buses.
In total, 1,817 buses will receive emissions-reducing technology as a result of the fund. The breakdown of beneficiaries are as follows:

Local Authority Sum awarded Number of buses
Newcastle £379,600 23
Leicester £983,250 53
London £3,000,000 500
Bristol £2,448,330 166
Gateshead £230,750 13
Manchester £2,994,000 176
West Midlands £2,987,750 222
Coventry £2,517,500 131
Oxford £671,550 37
West Yorkshire £2,975,875 179
South Tyneside £133,952 8
Liverpool £2,520,643 129
Sheffield £3,000,000 160
Essex £387,064 20
Total £25,270,264.00 1,817

Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, said of the announcement: “This government funding to help Greater Manchester’s bus operators clean up their fleets is welcome, but much more is needed.

“Due to industry under-investment in newer, cleaner vehicles, around 90% of buses in and around Greater Manchester currently have older and higher polluting engines, belching out fumes.

“Our draft Clean Air Plan includes a proposal for a £29m Greater Manchester Clean Bus Fund, so that all the buses on Greater Manchester’s roads are clean.”

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “I am delighted that we have been successful in our bid for Government funding. This is a massive boost to our ambition to clean up the air in the West Midlands.

“We will now be working with the companies involved to make sure their vehicles are upgraded as soon as possible.

London benefits the most from the funding, receiving £3m to retrofit 500 buses. MIKE SHEATHER
London benefits the most from the funding, receiving £3m to retrofit 500 buses. MIKE SHEATHER

“Poor air quality contributes to almost 1,500 premature deaths per year in the West Midlands, so I have pledged that every bus in the metropolitan area will be replaced or upgraded by April 2021.

“Today’s announcement is a fantastic step towards this target. There is still work to do and I am determined to attract more funding for the West Midlands to make this happen.”

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “The reduction in pollution levels and the health benefits of the original scheme covering 300 buses were significant but the funding to include a further 179 buses in the scheme is going to give it a big, and very welcome boost to local people’s health.”

Councillor Lewis Dagnall, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport at Sheffield City Council, added: “As a city we have urgent responsibilities to act on climate change and to improve our local air quality.

“This funding is a significant boost towards our target of a cleaner and greener bus fleet, and will lead to more than 90% of the city’s two largest bus fleets achieving Euro VI equivalent standard.”


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