More than one hundred buses on routes into Bristol and Bath will be made cleaner thanks to a £2.48 million government funding boost.
Using the latest technology, the money will help retrofit 166 buses to reduce the amount of Nitrogen Dioxide and other harmful pollutants being released into the air by up to 94%.
This is the fourth time that money has been secured from the Department for Transport to upgrade the bus fleet, which includes helping to improve air quality in the region, bringing the total funding secured to £10 million.
Cllr Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Transport at Bristol City Council, said: “This £2.48 million of funding will help us to continue our programme of retrofitting our bus fleet to reduce harmful emissions in the region. The upgrade of 166 buses is a huge step closer to our aim of a clean bus fleet by 2020, contributing to our efforts of making Bristol a healthier place to live and work.”
The 166 buses will be fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction Technology, upgrading them from Euro IV/V standard to Euro VI, which is the best environmental standard available.
In 2015, £500,000 was secured from the Clean Bus Technology Fund which went towards upgrading 35 buses to Euro V and VI standard.
In 2017, Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council, in partnership with First Bus, were also successful in securing £4.8 million of funding from the Low Emission Bus Bid, which unlocked £30 million of private investment from First to introduce up to 110 new gas-powered buses into the fleet. These buses will start entering service in 2020, providing a further boost to improving air quality in the city.
Last year, Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council jointly a further £2.2 million was secured from the Clean Bus Technology Fund to retrofit 81 buses.
This year was a joint bid between Bristol City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council to secure another £2.48 million from the Clean Bus Technology Fund.
Chris Major, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s group manager for Transport and Parking, said: “This is another step in the right direction towards clean air for Bath and North East Somerset. Retrofitting 166 buses will have a positive impact on our air quality and will contribute towards bringing NO2 emissions down in the city’s clean air zone when it comes into effect at the end of 2020.”
James Freeman, Managing Director, First West of England said: “We are committed to reducing vehicle emissions and supporting the local authorities in whose areas we operate. We have invested approximately £40m in the West of England region on Euro VI diesel and biogas buses which are already out on the road.
“We’re delighted that this government funding will allow us to upgrade even more of our existing fleet to Euro VI standard to help tackle roadside emissions.”