GOVERNMENT funding will help make Durham City buses more environmentally friendly.

Durham County Council and Sunderland City Council have won £275,000 from the Department for Transport’s Clean Bus Technology Fund (CBTF), which supports efforts to reduce emissions from buses and improve air quality.

Operator Go North East will fit 19 buses operating on routes, including the Prince Bishops 20 and X20 services, between the two cities with the latest Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCRT) technology to reduce exhaust emissions.

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Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for City Services, James Blackburn, said: “The systems to be installed on the selected bus routes have been trialled by Transport for London and several major London operators where they have been successful in reducing pollution so this will mean improved air quality for residents in Sunderland.”

Neil Foster, Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration with Durham County Council, added: “ This funding is fantastic news. This will mean less pollution and improved air quality in the urban areas through which the buses will pass and we are delighted to have been chosen.”

Andy Gamblin, Infrastructure Manager at Go North East said: “Working in partnership with Local Authorities has resulted in winning Clean Bus Technology Funding.

"This will help us to upgrade our vehicles operating within Durham and Sunderland, and help both council’s achieve their objective of continually improving air quality in our region. We look forward to working with them both again to attract further funding of this nature.”