Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has said buses could be part of the solution to tackling pollution in towns and cities, as he announced more cash is being made available to help firms make their fleet more environmentally-friendly.

The Scottish Government has already made £1.5 million available in early 2018, with firms now able to bid for cash as part of the second round of funding under the £7.8 Bus Emissions Abatement Retrofit (BEAR) Programme.

It provides help with the costs of retrofitting technology to cut pollution from their existing vehicles.

A total of £518,000 has been awarded to Dundee City Council, City of Edinburgh Council and Glasgow City Council to support the work to introduce the low emission zones.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “By working in partnership with bus operators we can encourage a greener fleet and enjoy cleaner air.

“We are already seeing operators invest in new vehicles and this second phase of retrofit funding will help extend the life of around 500 older buses, making them part of the solution to help improve the quality of the air in our towns and cities.”

Matthew Eastwood, head of transport at the Energy Saving Trust said: “Public transport, especially buses, play a key role in keeping Scotland moving and are a significant part of the solution to air quality in our towns and cities.”