Work to improve air quality in Portsmouth has taken a step forward after the government announced it will fund work to improve emissions from buses.
Portsmouth City Council will be developing plans to retrofit buses in the city with new technology to reduce emissions. The move comes after the council submitted a feasibility study to Defra.
On 5th October, Defra announced Portsmouth as one of 10 areas it will be working with to fund and support projects, with approximately 400 buses set to be retrofitted across the country.
Exact details of the funding are still to be confirmed by Defra and detailed plans will be developed following this. The work complements plans to build a bus rapid transit system in Portsmouth and Hampshire which government recently progressed to the second phase of its £840m Transforming Cities Fund.
Cllr Dave Ashmore, the council's Cabinet Member for Environment & Community Safety, said: "I'm very pleased Defra has announced it will support our plans to reduce the emissions produced by buses in Portsmouth and we're looking forward to finding out exactly how much funding will be provided. Buses are a great way to help reduce air pollution because it's much better for people to use public transport where they can rather than drive their own cars. Some of the older buses aren't as environmentally friendly as they could be so if we can improve them with new technology that will make them an even better solution.
While Portsmouth isn’t one of the worst offenders for air quality, it isn’t something we can take for granted. We take the air quality in the city very seriously and work is under way to try and make improvements and ensure the city is the best environment possible for people to live, work and visit."