NEARLY 500 buses in the West Midlands will benefit from green technology over the next two years – including more than 100 in Coventry.
The government announced that councils across the country have received a £40 million transport funding boost.
The additional funds come as part of a drive to put more low emission buses on the roads and improve air quality in UK cities.
West Midlands mayor Andy Street welcomed the news.
He tweeted: “Delighted nearly 500 buses in the West Midlands will be retrofitted over the next two years to make them cleaner thanks to @TransportforWM and @coventrycc securing a total of £4.5m from Government’s Clean Bus Technology Fund. “Congratulations to all involved.”
Funding has been awarded to 20 local authorities as part of the Clean Bus Technology Fund, which was launched last year.
The money will allow councils to retrofit vehicles with technology to reduce tailpipe emissions of nitrogen dioxide, according to the government.
Transport West Midlands have benefitted from £1.5million in funding from 2016/17 and a further £1.5million over the coming year.
This will mean 364 buses can be improved with green technology.
Coventry council received £1.5million which will enable 104 buses to be retrofitted with low emission capabilities.
Speaking at the UK Bus Summit at London’s QEII Centre, transport minister Nusrat Ghani said:
“Buses and coaches are hugely important to those who rely on them and to the communities in which these people live and work.
“Road transport is going to change dramatically over the next couple of decades – and we have to make sure that the bus industry is ready to benefit from those changes.
“We have to move away from nose-to-tail car traffic at peak times, endless engine idling, stop-start travel and rising pollution and carbon emissions.
“Rather than contributing to the problem – buses and coaches very much form part of the solution.”
Coventry councillor Kamran Caan, cabinet member for public health and sport, said: “As a city we want to improve air quality in Coventry, and we welcome the funding.
“The council is taking the problem of air pollution very seriously and looking at a range of ways to reduce the impact we know it is having on the health of our communities.
“We are also really keen to urge residents to do what they can to be more environmentally friendly, by leaving the car at home, even just for one day a week, and thinking about car sharing, or doing part of their journeys differently.
“We are already working with the Joint Air Quality Unit – and reducing emissions from buses will be a step in the right direction.”