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Government announces Green Bus Fund 2 and details of £30m spending on low carbon transport

Thu 25 March 2010 | Back to news list | More bus news

Following the Budget, the Department for Transport has announced details of £30m Government funding through the Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) to support the introduction of greener buses, cleaner fuels and the introduction of ultra-low carbon vehicles. The announcement provides more details of spending which was originally committed in last year's Pre-Budget Report.

As part of the funding, local authorities and bus operators will have the opportunity to bid for an additional £10 million to buy new low carbon buses. This represents an additional tranche of funding to supplement the existing scheme which is now delivering around 350 low carbon buses in England.

There will also be a £3.5 million pot to support the increased use of biomethane, produced from waste material, for transport. The Government believes that generating fuel from waste has the potential to provide significant environmental benefits and will help the UK to meet its carbon reduction targets. £3.5m has also been allocated to support low carbon commercial vehicle technologies subject to a feasibility study.

Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis said: “I want Britain to be at the forefront of ultra-low carbon technology, blazing a trail for environmentally-friendly transportation."

Business Minister Pat McFadden said: “Car manufacturers such as Toyota and Nissan have already announced that they will be producing low carbon vehicles in the UK and we hope Vauxhall will follow. This funding will also help consumers and operators recognise low carbon vehicles as a viable, affordable alternative when buying a vehicle and drive Britain closer to our goal of being the number one destination in the world to manufacture low carbon technologies.”

Also included in the fund is:

- £5m for the extension of the Technology Strategy Board's (TSB) Low Carbon Vehicle Innovation Platform competition announced in December 2009, focused on developing UK supply chains for low and ultra low carbon vehicles. The new funding will increase the project budget from £19m to £24m.

- £3.7m to develop a telematics facility at MIRA - to test, develop and demonstrate new intelligent transport technologies and become a self-sustaining test centre. These technologies have the potential to reduce carbon emissions in real-world applications at low cost.

- £3.5m for a biogas demonstration project, subject to a feasibility study. The project will fund a ‘mobile clean up facility’ (to upgrade raw biogas into biomethane of a quality that can be used as a transport fuel or injected into the gas grid) and fund the additional costs of vehicles using biogas.

- £3.5m for a low carbon truck demonstration project, also subject to a feasibility study. The project will fund the demonstration of low carbon heavy good vehicles (HGVs), for example hybrids that have the potential for significant carbon savings and significant fuel savings for freight operators, yet have currently limited uptake because these benefits over a range of freight operations are not widely known or demonstrated.

- £1m of funding for the AlternativeFuel Investment Grant Programme (AFIGP). This will allow two additional rounds of project funding in 2010/11. The programme supports the installation of refuelling or recharging stations for a range of alternative fuels – natural gas / biogas, hydrogen and electricity. The scheme is aimed at a wide range of technologies and is available for small projects nationwide. It is additional to the Government's Plugged in Places programme.

- £10m for the Green Bus Fund Competition 2. This would be run along very similar lines to the successful 2009 Green Bus Fund. This will require State aid clearance.

- an additional £3m support reserved for the Office for Low Emission Vehicles Plug-In Car grant programme.

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