MORE THAN 100 gas-powered buses will be taking to the roads in South Gloucestershire following a £4.8million award from central government.

The funding for the 110 buses come as part of a £11million pot distributed nationally under the government’s low emission bus scheme, and will see the buses operate both in South Gloucestershire and Bristol.

Transport minister Paul Maynard said: “Low emission buses are an important part of our plans to make motoring cleaner and improve air quality across the country.

“New greener buses will be more comfortable for passengers, they are cost efficient and are good for the environment.

“I am pleased to announce this latest group of successful bidders, which should make a real difference to air quality in towns and cities across the country.”

The funds will help unlock a £28m investment by First West of England to potentially transform a significant part of their fleet into bio-methane powered buses.

Cllr Colin Hunt, South Gloucestershire Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “This is a great news for everyone living and working in and around South Gloucestershire and is yet another example of our strong local authority partnerships levering funding for much-needed transport improvements.

“We are looking forward to working with First and our neighbouring authorities to unlock the investment needed to operate and manage a new fleet of buses using innovative technology.”

Of the 110 new gas powered buses, which could be in circulation by 2019, 30 will be introduced into MetroBus services.

West of England mayor Tim Bowles said: “I'm delighted that £5million of government funding has been secured to transform the bus fleet in the West of England.

“Joint working has unlocked this investment to help cut harmful nitrogen oxide emissions, safeguarding the health of local communities.

"My vision for the West of England states that we will work together to take responsibility for reducing emissions and is currently available online for feedback."