One local authority is set to receive £50m to become Britain’s first all-electric bus town as part of a wider £170m fund to encourage more people to take the bus.
The Government is urging councils to bid for the funding, which will help pay for a new fleet of electric buses, saving up to 7,400 tonnes of CO2 each year. This is the equivalent of taking 3,700 diesel cars off the road.
The overall figure of £170m also includes £20m to trial on-demand ride sharing services and £30m to restore lost routes and improve services.
New low-fare, high-frequency ‘Superbus’ networks will also receive a £70m funding boost as part of the package.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘Buses carry more people than any other form of public transport in the UK, and with 200 electric buses able to offset 3,700 diesel cars, it is clear they have a crucial role to play in bringing down emissions.
‘But Britain’s first all-electric bus town is just the start. Helping deliver on our manifesto promise, this £170m package will help us to create communities which are cleaner, easier to get around and more environmentally friendly, speeding up journeys and making them more reliable.’
Graham Vidler, chief executive of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, called the cash ‘excellent news for bus passengers’.
He said: ‘Today’s announcement will mean more local authorities and operators working together to deliver real improvements for passengers.’
‘This funding must be the beginning, rather than the end, of transforming bus services across our country. To truly make an impact in connecting communities and tackling the climate emergency the forthcoming national bus strategy must have reducing congestion at its core to deliver the quicker journeys that will encourage people to leave their car at home and take the bus.’
This story first appeared on localgov.co.uk.