Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart has welcomed the Government’s announcement that Bus operators across England will from this week be able to bid for a share of £5 million funding to fit buses with green technology and offer better journeys.
The Clean Bus Technology Fund 2015 will allow local authorities to bid for up to £500,000 – enough to retrofit hundreds of buses that will reduce NOx (nitrogen oxides) emissions and improve air quality.
The fund is open for bids until the end of October, with a particular focus on pollution hotspots in cites and urban areas. The winners will be announced towards the end of the year.
Mr Stewart, who sits on the Transport Committee, said: “This is a great initiative. The £5 million Clean Bus Technology Fund will provide hundreds of cleaner buses to improve air quality. Milton Keynes is already leading the way with our Electric Buses.
“The funding will also support the British industries helping deliver the technology. I urge the council to apply for the funding and hopefully we can continue our fantastic reputation as a hub for transport.”
This funding fits existing bus fleets with green technology which reduces nitrogen oxides pollution from buses by at least 50%.
This new £5million scheme will add to the £20m the government has already invested since 2011, together with some significant contributions from local authorities and bus operators, in similar local retrofit schemes for different types of vehicles which have significantly improved air quality.
So far, around 1,500 buses have been retrofitted in London and in other parts of England and last year’s Clean Vehicle Technology Fund provided over £8million to councils to upgrade over 1,200 vehicles – vans, taxis, buses and even fire engines.