City buses going green

A bus travelling through Sunderland.

A bus travelling through Sunderland.

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Wearside has scooped funding to fit buses with green technology.

Sunderland is being awarded £280,000 under the Department for Transport's Clean Bus Technology Fund 2015 to fit 14 buses with the latest green technology.

Across the country 450 buses will be changed to cut harmful emissions by up to 90%, after the successful bids for around £7million of Department for Transport funding were announced today.

The Clean Bus Technology Fund 2015 is being awarded to 18 local authorities to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in pollution hotspots.

Due to their high mileage and long operational life, introducing greener buses can significantly help air quality in town and city centres. The buses upgraded from this fund will complete more than a million journeys a year.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: "Greener buses mean cleaner town and city centres and a healthier environment for everyone. The upgraded buses that will soon hit the roads in England continue our commitment to better air quality by investing in greener transport. By targeting pollution hotspots and backing the low-emission technology of the future, we are making the right long-term decisions to improve people’s lives."

To win awards, local authorities, including Sunderland City Council, had to show evidence that the technology would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by at least 50%. The buses will be fitted with exhaust gas treatment systems called selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and will be back on the roads after their upgrade. As part of the award, councils must continue to monitor the schemes and provide evidence of their effectiveness.

This new fund adds to the £20million invested by the government in retrofit schemes and is in addition to significant match funding by local authorities and support from bus operators to improve air quality since 2011. This has ensured over 2,000 buses have already been upgraded across England to cut emissions.

The Clean Bus Technology Fund is a core part of the government’s commitment to green transport which has seen £2 billion worth of measures introduced since 2011. Upgrading existing transport is in addition to the government’s £600 million investment in low-emission technology over the next five years, which aims to help make almost every car and van zero emission by 2050.