Local authorities in line to receive a share of Â£40 million through the governmentâ€™s Clean Bus Technology Fund have been named by the Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani.
Funding will be used to retrofit buses with technology to bring them in line with strict emissions standards, in a bid to improve air quality in towns and cities.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Bristol city council, Transport for Greater Manchester, Transport for London and Leeds city council are among the authorities to share in the latest pot of money, to be spent in 2018/19. (See full list of recipients below)
Some of the funding has been brought forward, the government has said, after â€˜strong interestâ€™ from local authorities in utilising the money.
The Clean Bus Fund, which is run by the governmentâ€™s Joint Air Quality Unit, has already committed over Â£19 million to authorities in 2017/18 to carry out retrofits.
In total, around 2,768 buses are expected to have been brought in line with the Euro VI emissions standard by mid-2019 as a result of the project.
Ms Ghani announced the latest pot of funding at the Bus Summit in London yesterday (8 February), at which she told delegates that the project would help to bring improvements in air quality in towns and cities across the country.
She said: â€œThe sooner we get more low emission buses on the road, the faster weâ€™ll reap the benefits. So today Iâ€™m pleased to announce that weâ€™ll be awarding nearly Â£40 million of that funding to 20 local authorities as part of the Clean Bus Technology Fund.
â€œThis will be used to retrofit buses with technology to reduce tailpipe emissions of nitrogen dioxide. Originally we invited authorities to apply for a funding total of Â£30 million now and Â£10 million in 2 yearsâ€™ time.
â€œBut we received a large number of strong applications for this round. And we wanted to start realising the air quality benefits as quickly as possible. So weâ€™ve made the full amount â€“ just under Â£40 million â€“ available now to fund two-year projects.â€
Analysis of the available retrofit options carried out by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) has suggested that selective catalytic reduction (SCR) after-treatment and diesel bus engine conversion to electric are the most effective technologies at reducing NOx emissions (see airqualitynews.com story) although costs vary across the options.
Commenting on the announcement, the LowCVP’s Managing Director Andy Eastlake said: â€œThe CBTF funding shows the commitment that the Government is making to help bus operators deliver the cleanest fleets through retrofitting existing vehicles and supporting for introduction of new Low Emission and Ultra Low Emission Buses.
“Importantly the CVRAS [Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation] scheme, developed by the LowCVP and EST, provides the confidence that these technologies will really deliver the clean vehicles both under test and in service.”
|Clean Bus Technology Fund 2017 to 2019 winners||Number of buses||2017/18 funding||2018/19 funding|
|1. West Yorkshire Combined Authority||156||Â£1,368,000||Â£1,474,200|
|2. Bristol City Council||81||Â£1,047,800||Â£1,167,000|
|3. Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council||79||Â£828,000||Â£674,180|
|4. Leeds City Council||75||Â£0||Â£1,371,000|
|5. Transport for West Midlands||364||Â£1,500,000||Â£1,500,000|
|6. Leicester City Council||109||Â£1,101,581||Â£1,101,581|
|7. Oxford City Council||83||Â£938,910||Â£724,020|
|8. Coventry City Council||104||Â£0||Â£1,500,000|
|9. Nottinghamshire County Council||112||Â£1,373,265||Â£0|
|10. Transport for Greater Manchester||170||Â£1,500,000||Â£1,500,000|
|11. North Tyneside Council||69||Â£862,600||Â£339,000|
|12. Nottingham City Council||171||Â£1,500,000||Â£1,196,517|
|13. Transport for London||500||Â£1,500,000||Â£1,500,000|
|14. Sheffield City Council||117||Â£560,000||Â£1,386,800|
|15. Sefton Council||149||Â£1,499,586||Â£1,497,277|
|16. Southampton City Council||145||Â£1,117,835||Â£1,500,000|
|17. Derby City Council||152||Â£1,500,000||Â£798,330|
|18. Essex County Council||60||Â£1,072,500||Â£0|
|19. South Tyneside Council||29||Â£232,500||Â£252,000|
|20. Newcastle City Council||43||Â£180,000||Â£510,000|
Commenting on the latest round of funding, Environment Minister Therese Coffey, added: â€œPoor air quality affects public health, the economy and the environment, which is why we are determined to do more.
â€œI am delighted to see so many high quality applications to the Clean Bus Technology Fund and, as a result, the government has decided to bring forward funding meaning that we will award nearly Â£40 million to retrofit more than 2,700 buses.â€
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has welcomed funding being made available to his region â€“ up to Â£3 million over the 2017/19 period â€“ which will be used on services in areas where high levels of NO2 have been measured.
However, the Mayor called for additional support from government in tackling air pollution in the Greater Manchester region. Mr Burnham has previously ruled out the introduction of charges for motorists to address air quality (see airqualitynews.com story).
He said: â€œAir pollution is one of the most pressing public health issues of our times. We have already taken steps to invest in cleaner buses in Greater Manchester and this funding will help us go further.
â€œWhile this is good news, Iâ€™m still extremely concerned that the level of government funding available is inadequate to address the scale of the problem.â€
He added: â€œInvesting in cleaning up local bus fleets will be critical to ensuring bus plays its role in addressing air pollution, both through cleaner vehicles and by offering a more attractive way to travel than the private car.â€