Government funding boost for bus industry in drive to improve air quality


February 8
11:19 2018

Funding will be awarded to 20 local authorities as part of the Clean Bus Technology Fund, which was launched in 2017 and is run by the Joint Air Quality Unit.

Speaking at the UK Bus Summit at Londons QEII Centre on 8 February 2018, Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani set out how the money will enable older vehicles to meet minimum emissions standards, and contribute to better air quality.

Speaking at the Bus Summit, Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani said:

Buses and coaches are hugely important to those who rely on them and to the communities in which these people live and work.

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, as part of a drive to help ensure that more buses and coaches can contribute to improving air quality in UK cities.

Picture of Nusrat Ghani in front of the electric buses.

Environment Minister Therese Coffey said:

Poor air quality affects public health, the economy and the environment, which is why we are determined to do more.

I am delighted to see so many high quality applications to the Clean Bus Technology Fund and, as a result, the government has decided to bring forward funding meaning that we will award nearly 40 million to retrofit more than 2,700 buses.

This is another way which the government is delivering on its commitment to improving the environment within a generation and leave it in a better state than we found it.

Alongside this, the Department for Transport will use the Bus Services Act as a way of encouraging councils and bus companies to look at measures to encourage the public to use buses.

In 2016, government invested 30 million through the Low Emission Bus Scheme, which helped put over 300 new low emission buses on the roads, with a further 11 million and 150 buses being announced in 2017.


Clean Bus Technology Fund 2017 to 2019 winners Number of buses 2017/18 funding 2018/19 funding
1. West Yorkshire Combined Authority 156 1,368,000 1,474,200
2. Bristol City Council 81 1,047,800 1,167,000
3. Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council 49 828,000 674,180
4. Leeds City Council 75 0 1,371,000
5. Transport for West Midlands 364 1,500,000 1,500,000
6. Leicester City Council 109 1,101,581 1,101,581
7. Oxford City Council 83 938,910 724,020
8. Coventry City Council 104 0 1,500,000
9. Nottinghamshire County Council 112 1,373,265 0
10. Transport for Greater Manchester 170 1,500,000 1,500,000
11. North Tyneside Council 69 862,600 339,000
12. Nottingham City Council 171 1,500,000 1,196,517
13. Transport for London 500 1,500,000 1,500,000
14. Sheffield City Council 117 560,000 1,386,800
15. Sefton Council 149 1,499,586 1,497,277
16. Southampton City Council 145 539,183 1,500,000
17. Derby City Council 152 1,500,000 798,330
18. Essex County Council 60 1,072,500 0
19. South Tyneside Council 29 232,500 252,000
20. Newcastle City Council 43 180,000 510,000
Totals 2738 19,103,925 19,991,905

Further information

In November 2016 the Department for Transport announced a further 100 million to support low emission buses. Of this, 40 million was put towards the Clean Bus Technology Fund, and 60 million was dedicated to new low emission buses. From the 60 million, 11 million was used to fund the best of the bids which had initially narrowly missed out on funding from LEBS, supporting the purchase of a further 150 low emission buses. The remaining 49 million will be used to fund the next round of the Low Emission Bus Scheme.

By 15 September this year (2018), 5 local authorities are required to set out their final plans for bringing nitrogen dioxide concentrations within legal limits in the shortest possible time. A further 23 local authorities are required to set out their initial plans by the end of March, with final plans by the end of the year.

In August 2017, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership launched the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme, with government funding support.

Roads media enquiries

Related Articles


  1. We don't have any comments for this article yet. Why not join in and start a discussion.

Write a Comment

Your name:
Your email:

Post my comment

Recent Comments

Follow Us on Twitter

Share This

Enjoyed this? Why not share it with others if you've found it useful by using one of the tools below: