Greater Manchester is set to become a green bus capital of the UK, with 229 diesel-electric hybrid vehicles on the road by this summer.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is awarding £908,000 part-funding for ten new eco-friendly buses to Manchester Community Transport (MCT).The ten buses should be on the road in late summer, and will be used on services TfGM pays for in Stockport, Ashton, Middleton, Oldham, Manchester, Salford and Trafford, alongside a route between the city centre and the airport.
The funding comes from another successful TfGM bid to the third round of the government’s Green Bus Fund for low carbon emission buses. The buses are capable of achieving a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to a similar-sized standard diesel Euro 3 vehicle.
TfGM has so far received just over £6.2 million government money to part-fund these 10 vehicles and the purchase of 88 other green buses. They are used on contracted services such as Metroshuttle and yellow school bus routes. TfGM’s 98 vehicles, alongside commercial bus operator’s vehicles, bring the total number of green buses on the road by this summer to 229 – more than anywhere in the UK outside London.
Chair of TfGMC, Councillor Andrew Fender said, “Bus users tell us that travelling on cleaner, greener buses is a real priority for them. We know that more people will consider switching from their cars to travel by bus if services are of a high quality. Not only are these green buses good for Greater Manchester’s atmosphere, but we also save on fuel, operating costs and maintenance over the life of the vehicle. We anticipated that by investing in green buses, bus operators would follow our lead and invest in cleaner buses for their own fleets. I’m pleased to say that this is just what they are now doing. As a result, Greater Manchester now has more new diesel-electric hybrid buses than anywhere outside London; our lead in this area is really something to be proud of.”
On top of TfGM’s successful bids, several bus operators have taken the initiative to get funding from the Green Bus Fund, including Stagecoach Manchester, First and Arriva.
Stagecoach has just rolled out 40 diesel-electric hybrid buses on its flagship 192 Manchester – Hazel Grove service, while Arriva recently launched a further 11 on its route 10 between Brookhouse and Manchester city centre.
TfGM is now preparing to make a further Green Bus Fund bid, to the fourth round £20 million national pot, by the end of the month. It has also written to local bus operators to encourage them to bid for funding too.
The Department for Transport will announce winning bids in May 2013.