Buses in Essex
are set to become more eco-friendly after Essex County Council and partners
secured more than a million pounds in grant funding from the Government.
The Council has announced £1,072,500 secured from The Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ ‘Clean Bus Technology Fund’.
The money was secured through a joint bid with Colchester Borough Council,
Rochford District Council and Southend-on-Sea. It will be used to retrofit 60
Arriva and First buses in the Colchester and Rochford Air Quality Management
Areas to Euro VI, which is the highest emissions standard.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for
Passenger Transport, said: “This is great news to help improve air quality and
offer residents more environmentally-friendly sustainable transport options.
“I am delighted that these newly upgraded buses, including our own Colchester
Park and Ride vehicles, will be helping to reduce harmful NO2 emissions.
“A full single-decker bus can take up to 40 cars off our roads so they really
do offer a great option to tackle pollution and congestion.”
Essex is one of just 20 local authorities in the country to have secured
funding and is now looking to upgrade buses as soon as possible.
Some of the first buses expected to benefit from the upgrades will be in
Colchester where commercial and Park and Ride services will be improved.
Colchester Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Waste & Sustainability,
Cllr Jessica Scott-Boutell, said: “Exhaust fumes from traffic, particularly
older diesel vehicles, are one of the biggest causes of air pollution in the
Borough. So, I am absolutely delighted that this funding will eventually bring
almost a quarter of all the buses operating in Colchester up to the latest
emissions standards required for Clean Air Zones.
“We are committed to tackling air quality issues, in partnership with
businesses and organisations, to ensure everyone living, working and travelling
in Colchester has clean air to breathe.”
A number of bus services which run along the A127 corridor, where air quality
issues have been identified, are also set to benefit from the funding.
Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Community, Cllr Mike Webb,
said: “We are really pleased to have secured such significant funding to
upgrade buses travelling through Rayleigh, thereby contributing to our ongoing
work to improve air quality in Rochford district for the benefit of our
residents. We look forward to seeing the cleaner buses on our roads in the coming