The government has announced funding worth £50 million to create the first fully electric bus town or city in the UK.
Local authorities in England, outside London, are being invited to bid for funding to replace an entire city or town’s bus fleet to vehicles that are all-electric and set the “gold standard” in environmentally friendly public transport.
They will be required to work with bus operators in providing baseline and monitoring data, for example, current emission levels, bus patronage and bus operating costs, in addition to identifying learnings about the delivery and implementation of the pilot projects.
The Department for Transport estimates a town with 200 electric buses could save around 7,400 tonnes of CO2 every year – equivalent to taking 3,700 diesel cars off the road.
The funding is part of a total £170 million allocated to improve services and make bus journeys greener, easier and more reliable whilst improving air quality.
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 £170 million 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.
“By focusing on efficient and affordable transport, we will make greener journeys the natural choice.”
All bids must be submitted no later than 30th April 2020.
The news follows the government’s announcement to bring forward the ban on new diesel and petrol vehicle sales to 2035.