Last reviewed 7 February 2020

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that he was setting the gold-standard in environmentally-friendly public transport when he announced that local authorities can now apply to become the UK’s first all-electric bus town.

The winning area will receive up to £50 million to help pay for a new fleet of electric buses, reducing emissions and cleaning up the air in their community. A town with 200 electric buses could save around 7400 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year.

“Buses carry more people than any other form of public transport in the UK,” Mr Shapps said, “and, with 200 electric buses able to offset 3700 diesel cars, it is clear they have a crucial role to play in bringing down emissions.”

Details of the project, together with an application form, can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-the-all-electric-bus-town-scheme.

The Government is also making it easier and more convenient to take the bus as it also revealed a new £20 million fund to encourage the development and trial of on-demand ride sharing services in rural and suburban areas, “helping people to plan their journeys down to the minute”.

The fund (details available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-the-rural-mobility-fund) will boost traditional services by helping people use bus travel to get closer to where they live, at a time that is convenient for them.

A further £30 million of funding in 2020 to 2021 has also been confirmed for local authorities to help them improve current bus services or restore those that have been lost. Every local authority in England, outside of London, is eligible for this funding to ensure that crucial bus routes can be revived or reinvigorated.

The Transport Secretary has also given details of a scheme whereby passengers will benefit from new low-fare, high-frequency Superbus networks to increase the frequency of services by investing in bus lanes and other priority measures.

The first will be introduced in Cornwall next year, where the network will be integrated with the county’s main railway line, which will also see increased train frequency, connecting people with jobs, education and family.

See www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-the-superbus-fund for more details.