Government funds bus industry to improve air quality

Local authorities to be awarded £25m to further bus retrofitting plans

White clouds against a blue sky

The government confirmed today that it will be supporting 14 local authorities through a £25 million funding boost to the Clean Bus Technology Fund. The fund, which was launched in 2017, looks to support projects to upgrade buses with technology to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions in areas with poor air quality.

This extra cash injection follows last year’s £40 million grant to 20 local authorities, which allowed councils to work with bus companies and technology providers to bring buses up to low emission standards.

Existing fund recipients were invited to apply for funding to extend their projects earlier this year, with all applicant bids successfully confirmed.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

"I am delighted to announce a further £25 million to retrofit 1,817 buses through the Clean Bus Technology Fund.

"We all know that air pollution is the top environmental risk to health in the UK. Nitrogen dioxide emissions must be lowered if we want to ensure cleaner and healthier air across the country.

"Local authorities are the best placed to introduce systems that work for their areas, which is why we are working closely with them to ensure they have the appropriate funding and support."

This boost will support the 2017 UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations, which sets out how councils with the worst levels of air pollution at busy road junctions and hotspots will take robust action.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman said:

"We are committed to driving down emissions across all modes of transport, and I’m delighted to see the bus industry putting itself at the forefront of this.

"This £25m investment will help the sector work towards the continued acceleration of low emission buses and a 100% low emission bus fleet in England and Wales."

Government is working closely with 61 English local authorities, and has placed legal duties on them – underpinned by £495 million in funding – to tackle their nitrogen dioxide exceedances.

By the end of this year, all local authorities will have carried out studies and, where appropriate, developed or be developing bespoke plans tailored to the nature of the nitrogen dioxide problem in their own local area.

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