West Midlands awarded £4.5m for low emission buses

The West Midlands is to receive one of the largest shares of a £40m pot of government funding to put more low emission buses on the roads.

The region is being awarded £4.5m from the Clean Bus Technology Fund – the money is being split between Transport for the West Midlands and Coventry City Council.

The fund, launched in 2017 and run by the Joint Air Quality Unit, is part of the government’s bid to improve the air quality in major urban areas.

TfWM will receive £1.5m during both the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years, while Coventry will receive £1.5m for 2018/19.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Over the next two years, almost 500 older buses in the West Midlands will be retrofitted to reduce their emissions with the support of this investment.

“Improving air quality in the West Midlands is hugely important and buses are the way many people get to and from work.

“As well as investing in new, cleaner buses and other forms of public transport and cycling, this support from the Clean Bus Technology Fund will mean we can accelerate the phasing out of high-polluting vehicles on our roads.”

Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Road transport is going to change dramatically over the next couple of decades – and we have to make sure that the bus industry is ready to benefit from those changes.

“We have to move away from nose-to-tail car traffic at peak times, endless engine idling, stop-start travel and rising pollution and carbon emissions. Rather than contributing to the problem – buses and coaches very much form part of the solution.”

The money will allow councils to retrofit vehicles with technology to reduce tailpipe emissions of nitrogen dioxide.