One Brighton bus company has won funding for 20 hydrogen buses to add to its fleet, while another will be given cash for five electric vehicles.
But Brighton and Hove Buses confirmed this afternoon (February 6) that the cash it’s received will go towards buses in its Crawley and Gatwick fleet – not in Brighton and Hove.
The announcement was made today by the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of a £48m pot for 263 low emission buses across the UK.
Brighton and Hove Buses will be handed £4.4m for 20 hydrogen buses and infrastructure, while The Big Lemon will receive £560,000 for five electric buses.
The Big Lemon
Tom Druitt, founder of The Big Lemon said: “We are delighted that The Big Lemon’s plans for a zero-emission bus network for Brighton and Hove has been recognised for its potential to improve air quality in the city and we look forward to working with the Department for Transport to make it happen.
“Our vision is that by 2030 every community in the UK has zero-emissions bus services run on renewable energy, and with six routes in Brighton and Hove soon to be powered by solar energy generated on the roof of our bus depot this is an important step to realising that vision.”
Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “I’ve been battling with Michael Gove for almost a year over Brighton’s filthy air, so it’s great news that we’ll finally be getting some ultra low emission buses for our city.
“These new vehicles will make a difference to people’s health - but I’ll keep pushing for the Government to retrofit the older diesel buses still polluting our streets.”
Brighton and Hove Buses said its 20 new single deckers would run on Metrobus Fastway routes 10 and 20, the 24-hour service with high frequency links between Gatwick Airport and Manor Royal Business District and Crawley town centre, Horley and residential suburbs.
It said the new buses would enable Brighton & Hove Buses to retire the last of the Euro 3 buses and redeploy current Volvo diesel buses, which are primarily Euro 5, and a handful of Euro 6 buses, elsewhere on the network.
Patrick Warner, Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus head of innovation strategy, said: “We welcome the announcement that we’ve been successful in our bid for a contribution towards our plans for 20 zero-emission fuel cell electric buses. These single deckers would be introduced on our 24-hour, high frequency Metrobus Fastway services to and from Gatwick Airport and Manor Royal Business District in Crawley.
“This is a crucial step in our ambitious bid to operate a zero-emission fleet by 2030 and it will enable us to be the first commercial operator in the world to independently introduce this technology. We now look forward to advancing these plans.”
Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “This government is doing more than ever before to reduce emissions across all modes of transport and I’m delighted to see the bus industry putting itself at the forefront of this.
“Nineteen successful bidders across England and Wales will receive funding to purchase new low emission buses and supporting infrastructure, such as charge points.”