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£1 million secured for greener buses

Date issued: 14 February 2018

Buses in Colchester are set to become more eco-friendly, thanks to new funding from the Government's 'Clean Bus Technology Fund'.

The £1,072,500 in grant funding was secured through a joint bid involving Essex County Council, Colchester Borough Council, Rochford District Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

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."