ELECTRIC buses could soon be operating across Somerset thanks to a £43 million Government grant to improve public transport.

More than 300 of the buses will be funded in the Westcountry, and also the charging infrastructure needed to support them.

The funding comes on top of more than £177 million the Government has already given to improve Westcountry bus services.

The new zero-emission buses will replace older diesel buses and will meet enhanced accessibility standards as well as having on board wi-fi and USB charging sockets.

The money comes from the second round of the Government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas programme.

West of England Mayor Dan Norris secured £6.6 million in partnership with First Bus to roll out 74 electric buses, 67 double-deckers and seven single-deckers to replace more polluting vehicles by the end of 2025.

In addition, First Bus is investing £37 million in a fleet update.

The buses are a key part of Mr Norris’s plans to build a sustainable West of England bus network, building on new and innovative schemes such as Birthday Buses to encourage more passengers.

Mr Norris said: “Cutting-edge, zero-emission buses will help attract more passengers onto the region’s buses and cut carbon.”