Reading Buses awarded £1.7m gas bus funding from government
26 July 2016 • Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport
Reading Buses is to receive £1.7 million funding towards the cost of purchasing double deck biomethane buses.
The award win is in response to Reading Buses bid to the government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme (LEBS). In total, the operator will receive £1,721,655 to acquire 16 double deck biomethane buses. In addition to new gas buses, funding will enable a substantial enhancement of Reading Buses’ gas infrastructure at their Great Knolly’s Street depot enabling further take up of gas buses across operations.
Reading Buses to order 16 double deck biomethane buses
A government spokesperson said they had received a large number of bids for LEBS funding, far more than they were able to fund under the scheme’s £30m budget. However, they were ‘very pleased with the high quality of the bids.
“Gas is a clean, simple and reliable way to deliver mass transit and we have got big plans for the future”
Chief Engineer John Bickerton said today: “This bid will allow us to continue the expansion of our gas bus fleet as we bring our double deck gas buses online.
“We hope that other operators will see what we are doing with gas as a cost-effective alternative to the battery headaches of electric buses, costs of hybrids and the complexity of a Euro Vl diesel.
“Gas is a clean, simple and reliable way to deliver mass transit and we have got big plans for the future in Reading too.”
Reading Buses introduced their first 20 Euro V gas single decks in 2013 followed by 14 more shortly afterwards.
John Bickerton continued, “They have delivered strong customer growth as drivers and passengers alike enjoy their smooth journeys and the strong environmental benefits from their travel.
“The vehicles are also among the most reliable in our fleet and the engineers like their simplicity.
“We have always seen compressed natural gas as a viable, sustainable fuel. We put our own money where our mouth is and, thanks to this grant, we are able to continue to use and promote gas as a sustainable fuel feed of the future too.”
The company buys their gas through the Gas Bus Alliance, and is certificated as carbon neutral with the gas coming from farm waste.