20 eco-friendly buses rolled out across Edinburgh

TWENTY new eco-friendly single decker buses are to be added to the fleet of Lothian Buses thanks to a £1.5 million grant.

TWENTY new eco-friendly single decker buses are to be added to the fleet of Lothian Buses thanks to a £1.5 million grant.

The Capital’s biggest bus operator already has 15 hybrid double-deckers (pictured) in operation and ten more hybrid single-deckers are due to come into use next month. The company says with engine modifications to other vehicles, more than half of its 650-strong fleet now uses the latest carbon-reducing ­technology.

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The latest cash grant is the lion’s share of grants totalling just over £2m allocated from the Scottish Green Bus Fund (SGBF) and announced by Transport Minister Keith Brown. The hybrid buses – powered by electricity and diesel – produce 30 per cent less emissions and use 60 per cent less fuel than a diesel bus.

Lothian Buses managing director Ian Craig said: “Securing this financial support from the Scottish Government will enable a further significant order for the next generation of low-carbon buses.

“Our vision is to provide world-class, socially inclusive transport for Scotland’s capital city. This announcement confirms that promise is being delivered.”

The double-deckers bought with the first round of funding from the SGBF operate on the No.10 from Western Harbour to Torphin and in the year to last September saved more than 600 tonnes of CO2 emissions and an estimated £200,000 in running costs.

Ten new single-deckers, funded from a second round of grants, will be added to the fleet on April 15, operating on the No.1 route from Clermiston to Easter Road.

Mr Brown said: “The Scottish Green Bus Fund has been a real success story and I am extremely proud to see that continue with this latest round of awards, which is also another clear indication of our support for the bus industry in Scotland.

“We are absolutely committed to investing to improve Scotland’s public transport network and to meeting our ambitious climate change target of reducing carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.

“We’ve already seen substantial fuel savings and reduced emissions from buses bought in the earlier rounds of the Green Bus Fund and that benefits us all through an improved environment.”