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Towns and cities across England are being invited to bid for funding that is aimed at improving air quality on local roads.

Local authorities and other public bodies will be able to apply for a share of £5 million from the Clean Vehicle Technology Fund.

Those that are successful can make improvements to local bus fleets and other vehicles which would slash pollution, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer announced today (Monday 2 June 2014).

Baroness Kramer said: This is our latest step in a major programme of measures to make our air cleaner. We are raising the bar and making sure that the ongoing trend of improving air quality continues. This £5m will mean less harmful exhaust fumes from buses, and other vehicles, in some of our most polluted urban areas. This funding will also secure jobs and growth in the industries delivering the technology.

Last year’s Clean Bus Technology Fund helped modify over 500 buses. This year’s scheme allows local authorities to apply for funding to improve other vehicles in their fleets, providing they are used predominantly on local roads with poor air quality.

The funding, up to a maximum of £500,000 for any one authority, will allow authorities to fit pollution-busting technology treating exhaust fumes or converting vehicles to run on cleaner fuels.

The scheme builds on the £7.3m awarded last year across 26 local authorities through the Clean Bus Technology Fund.

Reducing pollutant emissions from older buses, other heavy duty vehicles, and taxis, in particular, oxides of nitrogen (NOx), demonstrates the government’s commitment to improved air quality in our towns and cities and meeting EU air quality standards.