Bid to government for £4.2m for zero emission buses for Greater Cambridge
A bid for £4.2m of government funding for new zero emission buses to operate in Greater Cambridge has been submitted by the Combined Authority.
The submission to the Department for Transport’s zero emission buses regional area scheme could help fund 30 new electric double-deckers buses if successful.
The zero emission buses will be used primarily on short busy routes where they can maximise their time in the city centre air quality management zone, an area of Cambridge that has the poorest air quality across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The buses would replace 10 per cent of the 350-strong bus fleet in operation on the urban and interurban bus networks across the Combined Authority’s area.
It will require match funding from bus operators, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s transforming cities fund, and from the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s City Deal with a combined value of more than £16.5m.
This bid is all part of a commitment to a rolling bus replacement programme, replacing 30 vehicles a year across the Combined Authority area to enable the conversion of its entire bus fleet from diesel buses to a fully zero emission fleet within the region by 2030.
This forms part of some 31 recommendations put forward by the Independent Commission on Climate in an initial recommendation report earlier this year.
Speaking after the submission of the business case, mayor Dr Nik Johnson said: “As a practicing consultant paediatrician, I see the negative impacts of traffic pollution on the children and their families, and these effects are a very real concern and as mayor I am working with my team to ensure we include public health and environmental considerations as key criteria in everything we do.
“We must lead with compassion especially when our communities are the ones who are impacted.
“Over 100 deaths in Greater Cambridge are attributable to air pollution each year and buses are the largest single contributor to emissions. These new buses will reduce emissions in that central zone by over 40 per cent, contributing significantly to improved public health.”