A number of English councils and bus firms have won funding totalling nearly £11 million to invest in green buses (that’s ‘green’ in the environmental sense rather than the actual colour of the things).
With the cash coming curtesy of the going places Department of Transport, the successful bidders applied under the government’s low emission bus scheme.
It means the likes of Denbighshire County Council now has £500,000 to spend on four electric buses, while South Gloucestershire Council has received £4.8m for 110 gas-powered buses. Hang on a second. Let’s do some maths: the electric buses are £125,000 each; a gas bus will set you back £43,600. Somebody better quickly have a word with Denbighshire.
Anyhow, the funds are part of a much bigger £660m fund from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles – as report after report indicates that we’re really making a hash of the air we all have to breathe.
Anybody over the age of 30 will probably remember what the UK’s buses used to be like: forever pumping out clouds of dense smoke, they were always covered in an unsettling black slime. It’s a miracle any of us survived, really.
Paul Maynard, Minister for Transport, said: ‘Low emission buses are an important part of our plans to make motoring cleaner and improve air quality across the country. New greener buses will be more comfortable for passengers, they are cost efficient and are good for the environment.’
The full list of winning bidders:
- Denbighshire County Council, Wales – £500,000 for 4 electric buses to be used on services in mid-Denbighshire
- City of York Council – £3.3m for 24 electric buses to be used on park and ride services in York
- South Gloucestershire Council – £4.8m for 110 gas buses for services around Bristol
- Surrey County Council, Guildford – £1.5m for 9 electric buses to be used on park and ride services in Guildford
- The Big Lemon, £500,000 for 3 electric buses to be used in the Brighton area
- Go South Coast / Wiltshire County Council – £500,000 for 3 electric buses to be used on park and ride services around Salisbury