Government funding of more than £46m will see 542 new low-carbon buses on roads across England by March 2012, according to transport minister Norman Baker.
Baker said: ‘Low-carbon buses emit around 30 per cent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than standard diesel buses and use around a third less fuel — that is why it was so important to kick-start the market.’
Green, low-carbon hybrid-electric buses supported by the fund are already in operation in London, Manchester, Oxford and Reading. Electric buses supported by the fund are operating in Durham.
A Low Carbon Emission Bus (LCEB) is defined as one that is able to achieve the LCEB target for greenhouse-gas emissions, which is equivalent to a 30 per cent reduction in its greenhouse-gas emissions compared to a current Euro 3 diesel bus of the same total passenger capacity. The buses will all meet the latest air-quality standards, delivering at least Euro V EU emission standards.
All English regions will benefit, with funds that have been paid to 20 bus operators and six local authorities, but Alexander Dennis Limited will benefit most, having received 53 per cent of the funded bus orders. Optare received 27 per cent of the orders and Volvo/Wright Bus received the remaining 20 per cent.