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Convert every bus to hydrogen or electric power: Liberal Democrats "Clean air fund" would spark £2 billion revolution

May 5, 2021 12:19 PM

The Liberal Democrats have announced that they would create a £2 billion fund to oversee the conversion of every bus fleet in England to hydrogen or electric powered vehicles.

Liberal Democrats have proposed a £20 billion "Clean Air Fund", which not only includes money to convert buses, but also to fund more bus routes and invest in walking and cycling. The policy comes as the party has promised to 'decarbonise England, creating greener, cleaner communities' ahead of tomorrow's local elections. They are also calling for the conversion of the rail network to ultra-low-emission technology by 2035 as part of a significant investment in public transport.

electric bus ArrivaMuch of England's buses are diesel powered, which is responsible for the high levels of particulate matter found in air pollution. The funding would be provided directly to local authorities in England to support their local bus companies with the initial costs of replacing and upgrading their buses to low emission vehicles.
Councils would decide how best to use the money, but it could be provided in the form of low-interest loans to the more profitable routes, or in the form of grants to less profitable, but important routes. Liberal Democrats would also remove the restrictions on local authorities running their bus companies.

Commenting on the "clean bus revolution" Newcastle Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Transport Cllr Greg Stone said:

"Public transport is in dire need of a green energy revolution backed by significant investment. We are starting to see operators like Go North East now introducing electric buses linking Newcastle and Gateshead but the Lib Dem Opposition wants to see much further progress to convert the city's bus network by converting fleets of buses from diesel guzzlers to ultra-low emission technology. This approach means we can deliver better public transport while ensuring the city's air is cleaner. Lib Dem led councils like York are already leading the way by delivering electric park and ride bus infrastructure. Under a Lib Dem council leadership, Newcastle will do the same.

"Liberal Democrats would help to decarbonise Newcastle and give the city cleaner air, creating a green bus revolution and ensuring our communities are greener and cleaner for all."