Source: Wales – City of Cardiff
Call-out to all bus companies operating in Cardiff
Bus operators in Cardiff are being invited to bid for funding to retrofit older buses within their fleets with approved technology designed to reduce harmful emissions and to reduce air pollution in the city.
Up to 80% of the cost of any works would be covered by the new scheme which is being run by Cardiff Council as part of our Clean Air Plan which is funded by Welsh Government.
The proposed scheme is aimed at improving air quality in Cardiff and follows a legal challenge made by Client Earth on the Welsh Government. The challenge legally forces the Council to take action to reduce pollution levels to a legal limit in the shortest possible time on Castle Street, which was breaching legal EU limits for NO2 levels before its temporary closure to support hospitality businesses during the COVID pandemic.
The Council has successfully been awarded £21m to bring in a variety of measures to reduce emissions and improve air quality in Cardiff. This includes re-modelling roads in the city centre to improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, the introduction of electric buses in Cardiff, the bus retrofit scheme, and ongoing work with the taxi trade to see what measures might be introduced to reduce emissions from their vehicles.
With Castle Street temporarily closed, to allow more space for the hospitality sector to trade during the ongoing COVID recovery, air quality has significantly improved in the city centre. This is good news and highlights, quite clearly, the huge contribution that vehicle traffic does make to poor air quality in the city. But we now need to look at all the measures which can ensure the ground made isn’t lost.
Originally the Council hoped it would be able to provide 100% of funding for bus operators to retrofit their buses, but due to EU legislation surrounding State Aid, bus operators will have to provide 20% towards the cost.
To ensure that the scheme is more affordable, the Council has put arrangements in place to ensure that bus operators will receive 80% of the funding upfront, on receipt of the Council receiving and ratifying the invoice for the work.
The two stage process for bus operators to apply for funding is available from October 2nd until December 31st through the Council’s website. The bids will then be assessed, with the funding available until March 31st 2021.
For more information or advice on the application process, bus operators can email CleanAirProject@cardiff.gov.uk