The government has announced another £5 million to make England’s buses cleaner, with operators able to bid for a share as part of a competition.
The idea is to help local authorities retrofit their buses with technology that reduces the levels of harmful nitroen oxide emissions, improving air quality. A reduction of at least 50 per cent is claimed.
The Clean Bus Technology Fund 2015 will let local authorities bid for up to £500,000, the government announced, before bidding closes at the end of October 2015. Winners will be announced at the end of the year.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “The £5 million Clean Bus Technology Fund will provide hundreds of cleaner buses to improve air quality in towns and cities across England and I urge local authorities to submit bids.
“The funding will also support the British industries helping deliver the technology. Today’s announcement continues the government’s commitment to improve air quality by upgrading existing vehicles on the road while also backing the low-emission solutions for the future.”
The £5 million scheme builds on the £20 million invested by the government since 2011. 1,500 buses have been retrofitted in London and a further £8 million was used to upgrade more than 1,200 vehicles including vans, taxis and fire engines in 2014.
Car emissions, particularly those of diesel engines, have been linked to a number of respiratory disorders and even cancer, according to a number of scientific studies.
The world’s most polluted street based on concentration of nitrogen oxide is Oxford Street in London. Buses and taxis are cited as the biggest contributors, helping take the levels to more than three times the EU limit.