Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Green bus fund to upgrade buses announced

The Department for Transport has announced awards of the Green Bus fund to enable local authorities to upgrade their local buses to have Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) in order to cut emissions.

Hundreds of cleaner buses for England’s towns and city centres

Nearly 450 buses in England will be fitted with green technology to cut harmful emissions by up to 90%, after the successful bids for around £7 million of Department for Transport funding were announced today (Sunday 3 January 2015).

The Clean Bus Technology Fund 2015 is being awarded to 18 local authorities across England to retrofit 439 buses with technology to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in pollution hotspots. Due to their high mileage and long operational life, introducing greener buses can significantly help air quality in town and city centres. The buses upgraded from this fund will complete more than a million journeys a year.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said:

“Greener buses mean cleaner town and city centres and a healthier environment for everyone. The upgraded buses that will soon hit the roads in England continue our commitment to better air quality by investing in greener transport. By targeting pollution hotspots and backing the low-emission technology of the future, we are making the right long-term decisions to improve people’s lives.”

To win awards, local authorities had to show evidence that the technology would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by at least 50%. The buses will be fitted with exhaust gas treatment systems called selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and will be back on the roads after their upgrade. As part of the award, councils must continue to monitor the schemes and provide evidence of their effectiveness.

This new fund adds to the £20 million invested by the government in retrofit schemes and is in addition to significant match funding by local authorities and support from bus operators to improve air quality since 2011. This has ensured over 2,000 buses have already been upgraded across England to cut emissions.

This part is interesting;

The Clean Bus Technology Fund is a core part of the government’s commitment to green transport which has seen £2 billion worth of measures introduced since 2011. Upgrading existing transport is in addition to the government’s £600 million investment in low-emission technology over the next five years, which aims to help make almost every car and van zero emission by 2050.
With the world's climate changing and signs that it's only going to get worse, I do think it’s time that the government invested more in the technology to produce zero-emission vehicles which can be hydrogen or battery electric. I'm guessing that 'big oil' won't like this move as green technology must hurt their profits. However, they will need to adapt to changing circumstances like everyone else and accept that cities benefit from having zero-emission vehicles, along with the public.  We'll have to wait and see what happens, plus, we are also waiting for the Ultra Low Emission zone to come into effect in Central London by 2020.

Regarding the Green Bus Fund awards, here is the list of the councils and public transport governing bodies that won the Green Bus grants.

So overall, TFL has secured £500,000 to retrofit 50 London Buses with Selective Catalytic Reduction system, compared to the rest of the councils listed which show that they convert fewer buses than TFL are doing.

As always, follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google Plus which is @Clondoner92 to keep up-to-date with all the latest transport news. I'm always interested in what the reader thinks so feel free to comment below as well.

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