Eleven local authorities in England awarded grants from the Clean Bus Technology Fund to cut emissions from nearly 400 buses
Eleven local authorities in England have been awarded grants from the Â£5 million Clean Bus Technology Fund, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.
The winning bidders announced yesterday (August 29) include West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, which will receive almost Â£1 million from the DfT to upgrade 119 buses with the aim of improving air quality along routes in areas not meeting European standards.
Furthermore, Merseytravel will upgrade 59 buses with more than Â£800,000 funding, Greater Manchester has been awarded nearly Â£700,000 to upgrade 30 buses and St Albans city and district council will spend Â£142,000 on upgrading 40 buses in the area.
Transport minister Norman Baker said: â€œThe funding we are providing will help clean up emissions from older buses in some of our most polluted urban areas, with all the health benefits that brings.
â€œThis will lead to real improvements in air quality on some of our most polluted streets, as well as helping to stimulate jobs and growth in the bus and environmental technology industries. I look forward to seeing how these initiatives are taken forward, and to the delivery of real results very soon. I hope that other parts of the country will adopt similar measures in the near future.â€
Local and transport authorities were able to consider a variety of â€˜off-the-shelfâ€™ technologies for their bids, including exhaust after-treatment and conversion to hybrid propulsion or cleaner low carbon fuels. Or, they could instead choose to develop new technologies, providing they demonstrated the high likelihood of success in improving air quality.
Winning schemes include a mix of proven technologies such as Selective Catalytic Reduction as well as new technologies such as hybrid flywheel (which can reduce fuel consumption and harmful emissions by 20%) and gas engine replacement.
Environment minister Lord de Mauley said: â€œThis 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.â€
The funding was awarded on five main criteria:
The DfT said the success of projects supported under the funding scheme may inform the launch of similar schemes in future.
Launched in June, 31 local authorities in England outside Greater London bid for grants of up to Â£1 million from the fund in order to upgrade buses on routes where air quality does not meet European standards.
In February, the DfT also announced it would be providing another Â£5 million, match funded by the London Mayor, to upgrade 900 older buses in the capital by March 2014 with exhaust after-treatment technology (see airqualitynews.com story). According to the Department, initial tests of these buses have shown reductions of up to 88% of harmful emissions.