Yellow school bus in Manchester

GMITA secures funding to buy more ‘green’ buses

Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority has been given £1.6m from the Government's latest Green Bus Fund grants.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive, on behalf of GMITA, made two successful bids to the Department for Transport's fund, which aims to encourage and help bus operators and local authorities buy new hybrid and electric buses.

The total grant awarded to GMPTE is £1.59m and includes £1.26m for 15 hybrid yellow school buses along with £33,000 for four low-carbon buses, to be used in the Media City UK area in Salford Quays.

Cllr Ian Macdonald, chairman of GMITA, said: "We secured over £3m of funding in the last Green Bus Fund, which is already being used to make several bus services in Greater Manchester more eco-friendly – including the popular Manchester Metroshuttle service.

"This latest announcement is another step towards achieving our environmental aims as well as supporting our aspirations to expand our fleet of yellow school buses and develop a new service in the Media City UK area, in conjunction with Salford City Council and other partners."

Manchester Airport Group was awarded £527,840 for five vehicles.

In addition to the successful bids made by GMPTE and operators last year, the total number of 'green' buses coming to Greater Manchester is 138.

Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority is made up of 33 councillors from the ten councils in Greater Manchester. Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive implements the authority's policies.

Around 80% of the bus network in Greater Manchester is operated commercially. The remainder is subsidised by Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive, using public money, to provide bus services which would otherwise not run.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive made three successful bids to the first round of the Department for Transport's Green Bus Fund in 2009.

The total grant awarded was £3.16m and covered 66 vehicles, 20 diesel-electric hybrid vehicles for Metroshuttle services in Manchester city centre, 16 green hybrid yellow school buses and 30 hybrid single deck vehicles for use on subsidised services.

Bus operators Stagecoach Manchester, with 30 buses, First Manchester, 14 buses, and Bullocks Coaches, 4 vehicles, were also successful in securing Green Bus Fund grants in 2009.

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