Government sets aside £48m for cleaner, greener buses in England and Wales

Councils and operators in England and Wales are being invited to bid for a share of a £48m fund which will look to drive the number of environmentally-friendly buses on the roads.

Transport minister Nusrat Ghani has today announced a new ultra-low emission bus scheme aimed at cutting emissions and ensuring cleaner and greener journeys. It’s part of the government’s commitment through the industrial strategy to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the transport sector. Funds from the government will buy hundreds of new ultra-low emission buses as well as the infrastructure to support them.

Commenting on the scheme, Ghani said: “We are doing more than ever before to reduce greenhouse gas pollution across all modes of transport and we are committed to ensuring nearly all cars and vans are emissions-free at their tailpipes by 2050. In order to achieve this ambitious target, the transport sector is going to have to change dramatically over the next couple of decades – and buses are no exception. We are confident this scheme will encourage councils and operators to invest in these ultra-low emission vehicles - speeding up the full transition to a low emission bus fleet in England and Wales.”

The new scheme follows the success of the previous low emission bus scheme. This led to 13 organisations receiving more than £30m between them – enough to put more than 300 new low-emission buses on the road by 2019.

Claire Haigh, chief executive of Greener Journeys, said: “Today’s announcement is a fantastic step in the UK’s fight against air pollution and we’re delighted that the government has recognised the important and vital role that buses play in helping reducing harmful emissions. The cleanest diesel buses emit fewer emissions overall than the cleanest diesel cars, despite being able to carry 20 times more passengers. Buses are also the lifeblood of our communities, connecting families and getting people to work. Today’s announcement sends a positive message that the government is serious about connecting the communities it serves and committed to putting the bus at the heart of the clean air solution.”

The announcement comes months before the UK is set to host a zero emission vehicle summit in autumn 2018.

If you would like to contact Ryan Tute about this, or any other story, please email