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The Department for Transport has announced the winners of the third round of the Green Bus Fund. £31 million will be spent on 439 low carbon buses including hybrid, fully electric and gas buses in the next two years.
The Government also announced the winning local authorities across England who will receive a share of £70 million under the Better Bus Area (BBA) fund to boost growth, improve partnerships with bus companies and increase bus passenger numbers.
Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “This funding means a better deal for passengers and encourages more people to travel by bus. It updates and improves services and infrastructure, reduces congestion, gives quieter journeys and with the introduction of new carbon friendly buses, reduces fuel costs and CO2 emissions, creating a greener network.”
Following a two month bidding process the department has provided funding for 439 new eco-friendly buses for 2012/2013. Passengers will see 128 single-decked and 311 double-decker buses in service from spring 2013, which the DfT says will save over 9,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year. The 26 bus operators including Stagecoach, Arriva and First are receiving more than £22 million, with more than £8 million split between five local authorities.
Five bus manufacturers will benefit from orders for their eco-friendly hybrid, electric and gas buses. They comprise: Volvo, Wrightbus, Optare, MAN and Alexander Dennis Limited, all of which are based in, or partly in, the UK.
The DfT press release also notes that by switching to low-carbon buses, the winners will also be eligible to claim additional government subsidy through the Bus Service Operators Grant to run these buses. Bus operators and local authorities will be given six pence per kilometre to support them with operational costs.
The LowCVP has worked closely with the Department for Transport in the design and implementation of the Green Bus Fund.