Successful bidding councils revealed for government’s 2015 Clean Bus Technology Fund aimed at cutting NOx emissions
Nearly £7 million has been awarded to councils across England in order to retrofit a total of 439 buses with technology designed to reduce air pollution emissions.
The government announced yesterday (January 3) that 18 local authorities in England have successfully bid for money towards bus exhaust upgrades from the Clean Bus Technology Fund, applications for which closed in October 2015 (see AirQualityNews.com story).
Successful bidders had to show evidence that their proposed retrofit technology would reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by at least 50% and as part of the award, councils must continue to monitor the schemes and provide evidence of their effectiveness.
Transport for London will receive upgrades to 50 buses in the capital after a successful bid for the maximum £500,000, while Birmingham will receive £486,000 towards retrofitting 27 buses and Bristol city council will receive £483,410 for upgrading 35 buses.
Yorkshire and Humberside will be the English region with the highest number of buses upgraded through the fund at 121, costing just under £2 million. The North West will receive 93 bus upgrades and almost £1.5 million and the South East will be given just under £500,000 to retrofit 35 buses.
The buses upgraded from the funding will complete more than a million journeys this year and are to be fitted with exhaust gas treatment systems known as selective catalytic reduction (SCR).
The likes of SCR firm Eminox have previously benefitted from the scheme, securing a contract with bus company Metro West Yorkshire to retrofit 119 school buses in 2013.
According to the Department for Transport (DfT), introducing ‘greener’ buses can “significantlyâ€? help air quality in town and city centres due to their high mileage and long operational life.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “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.â€?
The £6,816,867 total funding awarded as part of the scheme adds to the £20 million invested by the government in retrofit schemes as well as what the government described as “significantâ€? 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, DfT said.
It follows the publication of the government’s air quality plan in December 2015, which set out its aim of introducing Clean Air Zones in five English cities by 2020 (see AirQualityNews.com story).