Oxford Bus Company will invest £5.5m into green buses after being recognised for its work on environmentally friendly transport.

The money will be ploughed into 36 new electric hybrid buses, making the company the biggest operator of these vehicles in the region.

Managing director Philip Kirk said: “We believe we will have the biggest percentage of hybrid buses in any fleet in the UK, with 31 per cent of our buses electric hybrids.

“The new buses mean Oxford Bus Company will be 100 per cent compliant with the target for the Oxford Low Emission Zone a year ahead of deadline.”

Last week Oxford Bus Company was given a special award as part of the UK Bus Awards for being “at the forefront of practical environmental excellence”.

On April 1, the firm increased single and return ticket fares for the first time in three years, blaming rising fuel prices and an increase in fuel tax for bus operators.

Some fares increased by as much as 13 per cent.

The increases affect City, park-and-ride and BrookesBus services and follow rises on some SmartZone tickets.