A fleet of 70 plug-in buses will be coming to Manchester routes
Greater Manchester is set to receive a multi-million-pound investment for dozens of new electric buses which Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) bosses say will help improve air quality across the city-region.
TfGM bid for £5.4 million government funding to part-fund 23 new electric buses and charging equipment, which it says will cut down on harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate emissions.
The buses will be used on the Vantage service which runs on the Leigh – Salford – Manchester busway, and the Manchester city centre free bus network. Three Greater Manchester bus operators – Stagecoach, First and Manchester Community Transport – have also been awarded part-funding for a total of 47 new electric buses.
The move comes after the Government’s national air pollution report identified 152 stretches of road in Greater Manchester with illegally high roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels present. Greater Manchester councils were instructed to put forward proposals to tackle air pollution on roads. As a result, all 10 Greater Manchester councils began developing a single Clean Air Plan to reduce NO2
Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, said:
“This is good news for Greater Manchester’s bus passengers, who can now look forward to seeing even more modern, environmentally-friendly electric buses on our roads, in place of more polluting vehicles.
“Some buses contribute heavily to poor air quality, a problem that affects us all – but in particular the poorest and most vulnerable in society – and which contributes to the equivalent of 1,200 deaths every year in Greater Manchester.
“Buses have an essential role to play in that, which is why we’re working towards having a zero-emission bus fleet – and today’s funding announcement is another step in reaching that ambitious goal.”
To support any future Clean Air Plan, Andy Burnham has written to the Secretary of State for the Environment on behalf of Greater Manchester local authorities to ask for more early funding for the replacement and/or retrofit of buses which contribute to the city region’s air quality problem.
There are nearly 2,000 buses running in Greater Manchester and around 350 currently have environmentally-friendly Euro VI engines. A further estimated 1,260 vehicles have Euro IV and V engines that could be retrofitted with clean technology to reduce emissions, while the remaining older vehicles cannot be retrofitted.
Further details are expected to be released later, including when and where the buses are run.
For more information on the Manchester Clean Air Plan click here.
Also published on Medium.