Department for Transport (National)

    Bus services across England are set to receive £90 million to make them greener, more efficient and easier to use, Transport Minister Norman Baker announced today.

    The Government believes that the funding will deliver better services for passengers in a way that will cut carbon and deliver growth.

    A new £50 million Better Bus Areas fund is an initiative which will see bus operators working in partnership with local authorities to increase passenger numbers. Successful bids must have the backing of at least one major local bus operator.

    Bids could include measures to reduce congestion, provide better information to passengers, make improvements to bus stations or encourage people to switch to buses from the car in densely populated urban areas.

    The Government is also announcing today a further £10 million to support the development of Community Transport, which will provide funding to 76 local authorities.

    Today’s injection of £60 million comes on top of the announcements in the Autumn Statement which provided:

    • £20 million for a third round of the Green Bus Fund, to help bus operators and Local Authorities to buy low carbon buses;
    • £10 million to fit pollution reduction technology to London buses. This is made up of £5 million funding from central Government and £5 million match funding from Transport for London. The new equipment will cut NOx emissions from buses in the Capital by around 400 tonnes – and will also help promote UK jobs in manufacturing and supplying clean vehicle technology.

    Transport Minister Norman Baker said:

    “This package of bus measures will support growth in our economy by creating better links to work, shops and schools, as well as helping to cut carbon emissions. This huge injection of £50 million for our new Better Bus Areas will encourage partnership working between good local authorities and good bus companies, which will benefit bus passengers.

    “In terms of the Green Bus Fund announcement, the UK is fast establishing itself as a world leader in low carbon bus technology, and I am proud to deliver this vote of confidence in our bus building industry. This is great news for jobs and manufacturing in this country.

    “The £20 million being provided is in addition to the £47 million that has already helped put 540 new low carbon buses on our roads and demonstrates how serious we are about reducing carbon emissions from transport.”

    Local authorities wishing to bid for money from the Better Bus Areas fund will be asked to submit bids in February to allow the Department to award funding by the end of March.