Transport bosses unveil fleet of money-saving green minibuses

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A FLEET of green, eco-friendly buses has been unveiled which council bosses hope will cut carbon emissions and costs to the taxpayer.

Sheffield Council said it was the largest fleet of “hybrid” buses run by any English local authority.

The vehicles will be used for home to school special needs transport, including for pupils who attend Bents Green Special School.

The council estimates that, over their working life, the vehicles will see a 17 per cent reduction in both fuel costs and carbon emissions, saving the authority thousands of pounds in the process.

Funding was granted through the Department for Transport’s low carbon vehicle procurement programme and the vehicles were provided by Devon-based Ashwoods Automotive Ltd.

Coun Jack Scott, the council’s environment spokesman said: “These greener buses will reduce fuel costs at a time of rising prices and they will also help the environment, which is massively important to us.

“The introduction of these new vehicles is a really positive step forward to a more sustainable Sheffield and will help strengthen our reputation as England’s greenest city.”

Coun Leigh Bramall, the authority’s transport spokesman added: “It is great to be leading the way with these low emission vehicles. We need to use our transport fleet on a daily basis, especially for transporting children to and from school.

“If we can do this in a low-cost, fuel efficient way then this can only be a good thing.”

Ashwoods said it’s hybrid drive technology used in the buses reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by 15 and 25 per cent.

The system stores energy every time the vehicle slows down then transfers it to the wheels via an electric motor.

Unlike other hybrids or electric vehicles, it never needs plugging into a charging point - and operators don’t have to worry about the battery going flat.