Communities across the UK stand to benefit from greener journeys with the introduction of 263 new low emission buses on certain routes.
A £48 million investment from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles will fund green vehicles and infrastructure to drive forward government plans to clean up the air in towns and cities.
Speaking at the UK Bus Summit, Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani also announced a new partnership with Greener Journeys to reflect the ‘pivotal role’ played by the bus industry in tackling loneliness and social isolation.
The partnership will see companies across the sector pledge to tackle loneliness, including through innovative vehicle design and initiatives to encourage bus passengers to talk to each other.
Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Buses are far more than a way of getting from A to B. They are a crucial tool in the fight against loneliness and it is good to see the industry taking steps to tackle isolation.
“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.
The fundings is part of the government’s £1.5 billion Road to Zero strategy published last year.
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the government to tackle the epidemic of loneliness affecting millions of people in the UK. Research from Greener Journeys shows that a third of people in Britain go at least a day a week without speaking to anyone – not a friend, colleague or family member.
“Buses play a vital role in facilitating social connections among the most vulnerable people, who rely on them to take them to visit friends and family. It’s fantastic to see the industry come together to launch such a brilliant range of initiatives to address the problem of loneliness.”