Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has pledged that the region will move towards a zero-emission bus fleet, after signing up to an international pledge last week.
Mr Burnham was one of a number of city mayors to sign the declaration at the European Metropolitan Transport Authorities (EMTA) conference in Paris – which was also attended by France’s Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne and other senior transport officials.
The collective ambition is to achieve low to zero-carbon transport networks in cities and metropolitan areas across Europe.
The Mayor said: “It was important for me to join other European city mayors in signing this declaration of intent to move to zero-emission buses. It was a significant moment at this year’s EMTA conference and now the declaration has been signed we need the industry to come forward with solutions.
“We know there’s an urgent need to improve air quality and that’s recognised across the continent. One of my key objectives for Greater Manchester is to improve public awareness and understanding of air pollution, and drive action to reduce emissions.
“We’ve already started this important work. Earlier this year we secured £3m to retrofit high polluting buses with the technology to reduce tailpipe emissions and previous funding has allowed us to turn all our Yellow School Buses – which have taken millions of car journeys off the road – into an eco-friendly fleet.
“I also recently announced £243m of funding to buy more trams and improve cycling and walking infrastructure across the city-region, helping tackle air pollution and the debilitating effects of congestion.
“We’re at an early stage, but I’m hopeful that, by working closely with colleagues at home and abroad, we’ll meet these challenges head-on.â€?
Signatories pledged to prioritise the introduction of ‘clean vehicles’ and support a move towards low- and zero- emission bus fleets, as soon as and wherever possible.