UK Transport Minister Norman Baker announced more than £46 million (US$75.3 million) in funding to help put 542 new low carbon buses on roads across England by March 2012. The money is part of the Government’s drive to target investment in new projects that promote green growth and encourage use of sustainable local transport.
All English regions will benefit with funds which have been paid to 20 bus operators and 6 local authorities. All the buses are expected to be in service by 2012. Low carbon hybrid-electric buses supported by the Fund are already in operation in London, Manchester, Oxford and Reading. Electric buses supported by the Fund are operating in Durham.
The Government’s Green Bus Fund is a scheme through which bus operators and local authorities bid for grant to help them purchase new low carbon buses. A Low Carbon Emission Bus (LCEB) is a bus that is able to achieve the LCEB target for Greenhouse Gas Emissions, which is equivalent to a 30% reduction in its Greenhouse Gas Emissions compared to a current Euro 3 diesel bus of the same total passenger capacity. These buses will all meet the latest air quality standards, delivering at least Euro V EU emission standards.
143 buses supported by the Fund are now in operation in Greater Manchester (51 buses), London (50 buses), Oxford (27 buses), Reading (6 buses), Leeds (6 buses) and Durham (3 buses). Alexander Dennis Limited will benefit most from the Fund, having received 53% of the funded bus orders. Optare received 27% of the orders and Volvo/Wright Bus received the remaining 20%.