The SNP has welcomed a £1.8million investment that will see a further 26 low carbon vehicles added to the Scottish bus fleet. The new buses are additional to the 48 low carbon buses added by five bus operators to the Scottish fleet in last year’s Scottish Green Bus Fund round.
The buses produce 30% less carbon emissions than conventional diesel buses. Lothian Buses Ltd, Henderson’s Travel, National Express Dundee, MacEwen’s Coach Services and Deveron Coaches Ltd will benefit from the cash injection.
They are the successful bidders from the second round of the Scottish Government’s Green Bus Fund.
Transport Minister Keith Brown announced the funding awards when on a visit to the Henderson’s Travel depot in Hamilton, Lanarkshire.
Mr Brown said: “Early indications from the use of vehicles bought in the first phase are showing substantial fuel savings and reduced emissions.
“This round of investment will build on these successes and commits further funding to help our bus industry invest in the latest emission-reducing technology.”
Henderson’s Travel boss John Henderson said: “These hybrid vehicles are central to our policy of operating economical, environmentally-friendly vehicles, which is particularly important during these times of high fuel prices.”
Gordon MacDonald, SNP MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands and member of the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Investment Committee, welcomed the cash boost for green bus travel and said:
“This is fantastic news that underlines the SNP’s commitment to green travel.
“This latest round of funding, which comes in the backdrop of huge cuts to our budget from Westminster, shows the Scottish Government’s dedication to ensuring our bus industry gets the support it needs.
“This will also help us reach our target of reducing carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 and cuts fuel costs for the bus industry.
“These vehicles are saving companies huge amounts of money on fuel prices, with Lothian Buses saying they increase fuel efficiency by over 50%.
“Last year the Scottish Government funded 48 new low carbon buses and today we have backed a further 26. I’m also pleased to see many of the buses will be manufactured at Alexander Dennis in Falkirk, supporting Scottish business.
“Low-carbon buses produce 30% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a current diesel bus of the same capacity.
“This latest round is building on the good work already made in helping bus companies, passengers and the environment.”