A NEW 'green' bus has been launched on a busy bus route in the borough in a bid to reduce air pollution.

The 226 Diamond bus, which runs from Dudley to Merry Hill, is now made up of seven micro-hybrid buses which are low emission bus certified.

The move is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s goal for the entire fleet in the metropolitan area to have ultra-clean ‘Euro 6’ engines by April 2021, with the aim of cutting harmful pollution across the bus network by up to 95 per cent.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environment, highways and street services at Dudley Council, said: “Improving air quality is a high priority for us and we’re very pleased to see the new micro-hybrid buses on the 226 route.

“Reducing congestion and improving traffic flow are key, and initiatives like this will help to reduce harmful emissions and make getting around the borough easier and greener.”

The new buses were part-funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as part of a package of support to help Dudley drive down roadside air pollution.

Bob Baker, business director at Diamond Bus, said: “We are proud to be investing in these new, efficient ‘Streetlite’ vehicles, which offer great environmental benefits.

“Our parent company, Rotala Plc, has pledged an investment of over £4.8m into new green buses, to provide better journeys for passengers in the region.

“With part funding from the Government, this has enabled us to bring 44 new buses into service across the Midlands over the past eight months.”