Eighteen areas in the UK, including Gateshead, will receive priority funding from the government to cut exhaust fumes from buses.

The various councils and transport authorities will receive a share of the £7m Clean Bus Technology Fund 2015, which prioritised the most polluted towns and cities around the country. Buses have been targeted because of their “long operational lives” and high mileage, and the money will see fifty buses in London, as well as smaller numbers in other locations, retrofitted with “selective catalytic reduction technology”.

The new plans for the new year have come after environmental lawyers took the government to the Supreme Court for failing to cut NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide) emissions. The court ruled that the government should put together new air quality improvement plans by New Year’s Eve, of which the fund is part. But the UK has also failed to meet EU air quality guidelines, and hopefully the money spent will also address that issue.