West, North, and South Yorkshire, along with the city of York, are to be given a slice of almost £200m from the government to introduce electric or hydrogen-powered buses, and the infrastructure to keep them moving.
Allocation of £198.3m will provide 943 buses from a scheme launched as year to allow local transport authorities to bid for funding to purchase zero emission buses.
The move is expected to remove over 57,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from the country’s air, as well as 22 tonnes of nitrogen oxides on average each year, as government continues to go further and faster to achieve net zero, clean up the transport network and build back greener.
It is also part of the government’s wider £3 billion National Bus Strategy to significantly improve bus services, with new priority lanes, lower and simpler fares, more integrated ticketing and higher frequencies.
Jobs in the bus manufacturing industry – based largely in Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England – will be supported as a result of the move. Zero-emission buses are also cheaper to run, improving the economics for bus operators.
Transport Minister Baroness Vere said: “We recognise the scale of the challenge the world faces in reaching net zero. That’s why reducing emissions and creating green jobs lies at the heart of our transport agenda.
“Today’s multimillion-pound investment is an enormous step towards a cleaner future, helping ensure transport is fit for generations to come and allowing millions of people to get around in a way that is kinder to our environment.”
Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Chief Executive said: “We welcome today’s announcement, which will complement the significant investment and initiatives by operators as we work together to transition to a zero emission bus fleet and help the country achieve its net zero ambitions.
“Stagecoach has already started its journey towards our target of a fully zero emission UK bus fleet by 2035, and there is also a major opportunity to deliver cleaner air by people switching to more sustainable public transport, cycling and walking.
“Britain’s buses have an exciting future ahead, helping decarbonise the country, as well as driving economic recovery and levelling up our communities.”