Upgrade will see Sheffield buses become some of most cleanest in the country​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

First buses will be among those to be upgraded
First buses will be among those to be upgraded

Sheffield's buses are set to become some of the cleanest in the country after being awarded a £3 million grant.

The upgrades mean that buses will produce less emissions than many types of modern car and is a major step in the council's plans to improve air quality in the city.

Cabinet member for environment and transport at Sheffield Council, Councillor Lewis Dagnall, said: “As a city we have urgent responsibilities to act on climate change and to improve our local air quality.

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"This funding is a significant boost towards our target of a cleaner and greener bus fleet, and will lead to over 90 per cent of the city's two largest bus fleets achieving Euro VI equivalent standard."

The £3m from Defra’s Clean Bus Technology Fund will be used to renovate 160 buses, with upgrade work being prioritised on routes that travel through the most polluted areas.

First and Stagecoach will provide funding commitments to the programme which means that no council funding is required.

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Managing director at First South Yorkshire, Garry Birmingham, believes the modifications are the quickest air solutions for the region.

He said: “By working together, local authorities and bus operators can make a real impact on congestion and air quality, provide better services for our customers, support local economies more effectively and ultimately help to increase passenger numbers.

"These are all parts of a virtuous circle; more passengers mean fewer cars on the road, less congestion and, in turn, improved air quality.”

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 A funding package is currently being considered by the government, which the council believes has failed them in helping the city avoid the devastating consequences of pollution.

The Clean Air Zone proposals will introduce a charge for non compliant buses, taxis and lorries driving within the city centre from 2021.