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UK to launch first all-electric bus town

Local Authorities can apply for a £50m grant

Helen Coffey
Thursday 06 February 2020 12:44 GMT
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An electric bus being re-charged at York Park and Ride
An electric bus being re-charged at York Park and Ride (Getty Images)

Britain is to launch its first fully electric bus town, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today.

Towns can apply for the position, with the winner receiving up to £50m to help make the switch.

The money will be used to help pay for a new fleet of electric buses to “reduce emissions and clean up the air in their community,” said Mr Shapps.

The government has said its ambition is for all buses to be fully electric by 2025.

A town with 200 electric buses could save around 7,400 tonnes of CO2 each year – the equivalent to taking 3,700 diesel cars off the road – the government has said.

The £50m grant is part of a £170m package allocated to improve services and make bus journeys greener, easier and more reliable.

It follows the Government committing £220m to overhaul bus services across England and improve transport infrastructure.

Some £20m has been pledged to develop and trial on-demand ride sharing services in rural and suburban areas, helping people use bus travel to get closer to where they live, at a time that is convenient for them.

Meanwhile, another £30m is dedicated to helping all local authorities in England (outside of London) improve current bus services, or restore those that have been lost, over the next two years.

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.”

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