Essex will soon be seeing electric buses on the streets. In the third biggest grant given to bus companies in the UK, the First Essex bus group received nearly £1.9 million in Government funding to purchase a fleet of 23 of the eco-friendly buses. There have been 31 grants allocated and Essex was third behind Transport for London and Stagecoach Manchester.
The plan is to replace 23 fuel-powered buses with the new vehicles which cost less to run, are less noisy and create less carbon emissions. They will be in action on routes across Essex by early next year. This grant covers 70 percent of the cost of the hybrid buses according to a spokesman for First Essex.
The Government’s Green Bus Fund was open for bus companies across the UK to bid on and 31 companies were successful in getting part of the £30 million on offer. The Government is trying to encourage the bus companies to use more energy-efficient vehicles.
The companies had to show how they were committed to increasing energy efficiency. Ensign buses, based in Grays, Essex are getting 7 of the new buses. They received a grant of £475,000. They have one already which their drivers and mechanics are training on.