Low carbon emission buses set for Essex roads

Low carbon buses in Edinburgh
Image caption Low carbon buses have been operating in Edinburgh since September

A fleet of low carbon emission buses are set to be rolled out on to roads in Essex.

First Essex Buses is to receive a £1.8m grant to buy 23 hybrid-electric buses. Thurrock-based Ensign Bus Company will get funding to purchase six versions.

The money has been awarded as part of the Department for Transport's £31m Green Bus Fund.

Southend Borough Council will also receive £1.5m to spend on improvements to its bus network.

Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said the buses were aimed at reducing fuel costs, cutting CO2 emissions and encouraging more people to travel by bus.

The government said each low carbon bus used in London saved about 26 tonnes of CO2 per vehicle each year, compared to diesel equivalents.

The vehicles, both single-deck and double-decker, are expected to come into operation during 2012-13.

Southend council said it would use the money it had received from the Better Bus Area fund to set up a borough-wide Smartcard system, improve bus stops and reduce congestion.

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