DfT opens bidding for £48m Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme

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To meet the criteria of an ‘ultra-low emission bus,’ vehicles must produce at least 30% less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional Euro 6 vehicles. MIKE SHEATHER

Scheme is expected to pay for ‘hundreds’ of ultra-low emission buses

Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani has announced a new Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme, which will see local authorities and operators in England and Wales bid for a share of a £48m fund.

The Department for Transport (DfT) expects the funds to buy hundreds of new ultra-low emission buses, as well as the infrastructure to support them. To qualify as an ultra-low emission bus, buses must produce at least 30% less greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional Euro 6 bus and meet Euro 6 engine regulations.

Transport Minister, Nusrat Ghani, said: “We are doing more than ever before to reduce greenhouse gas pollution across all modes of transport and we are committed to ensuring nearly all cars and vans are emissions-free at their tailpipes by 2050.

“In order to achieve this ambitious target, the transport sector is going to have to change dramatically over the next couple of decades – and buses are no exception. We are confident this scheme will encourage councils and operators to invest in these ultra-low emission vehicles – speeding up the full transition to a low emission bus fleet in England and Wales.”

The new scheme follows the success of the previous Low Emission Bus Scheme, which led to 13 organisations receiving more than £30m between them – enough to put more than 300 new low-emission buses on the road by 2019.

Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said: “Today’s announcement is a fantastic step in the UK’s fight against air pollution and we’re delighted that the Government has recognised the important and vital role that buses play in helping reducing harmful emissions. The cleanest diesel buses emit fewer emissions overall than the cleanest diesel cars, despite being able to carry 20 times more passengers.

“Buses are also the lifeblood of our communities, connecting families and getting people to work. Today’s announcement sends a positive message that the Government is serious about connecting the communities it serves and committed to putting the bus at the heart of the clean air solution.”

The current funding comes as part of a wider £100m scheme announced in November 2016 to support low-emission buses.