The Scottish government has announced that it is provide an extra £2.5m in order to encourage local bus companies to buy vehicles that are eco-friendly. Keith Brown, the transport minister, made the announcement during a debate in Parliament. The money makes up part of the Scottish Green Bus Fund, which already has helped bus companies to buy over 70 low carbon buses.
Bus companies are now to be invited to apply for a share of the fund. Since 2010, the government has invested £9.2m in the scheme, and this has allowed operators to buy 74 eco-friendly buses, each of which use 60% less fuel than a conventional diesel bus and also produce 30% less emissions.
Mr Brown has said that already, the Scottish Green Bus Fund has been a great success and is just further, concrete evidence of the continuing support that the government was giving the Scottish bus industry, and how hard they were working to meet the ambitious targets for climate change, as well as the investment they were making in supporting employment in Scotland.
He went onto say that Green Buses also helped operators to keep down their running costs due to the huge reduction in fuel consumption, and this is good news for passengers as the savings can be passed on. Mr Brown added that the government wanted the people of Scotland to experience all the benefits that came from Green Buses, and that his announcement would greatly help them move towards achieving that ambition.
The announcement has been welcomed by Alexander Dennis Ltd., a bus manufacturer from Falkirk who produce a number of eco-friendly buses. The companies chief executive officer, Colin Robertson, said that thanks to such initiatives as the Scottish Green Bus Fund, their business was now established as one of the leading low carbon bus providers in Europe, and as well as 900 jobs in Falkirk there was another 2000 in their supply chain.