Buses taking big steps to cleaner air in West Yorkshire
Taking the bus is a great way to contribute to cleaner air with just one bus replacing up to 75 cars and the pollution they cause.
Congestion holds back the economy and jobs but it is also bad for our health because of the harmful emissions it causes.
Air pollution affects people throughout their lifetime, from pregnancy when it can contribute to low birth weight, childhood, when it causes diseases such as asthma, adulthood, where it can cause heart disease, strokes and cancer and old age when it can be a factor in developing dementia.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its partners are working to combat congestion by improving bus services and making them more attractive convenient and easy for people to use.
Investment in improving local roads and junctions to make bus journeys more reliable and punctual is just one of the ways the Combined Authority is working with its partners to encourage more people to catch the bus. Other measures include park and ride facilities, reducing bus emissions through new and retrofitted buses, improving public transport information and supporting more digital payments including the MCard Smartcard scheme.
Ahead of Clean Air Day, the Combined Authority is encouraging people to consider how they could help improve air quality by considering catching the bus. Details of all routes, timetables and tickets are available from the Metro website at www.wymetro.com as well as details of the yournextbus real-time service. People can also find information form @MetroTravelNews on Twitter, the West Yorkshire Metro Facebook page or from MetroLine on 0113 245 7676.
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “Taking more journeys by bus is a simple way we can all help improve air quality by reducing the number of cars on our roads and the queuing stationary traffic which contributes to pollution.
“Working with our partner councils and the bus operators we are investing to improve services and I hope people will be inspired to try the bus this Clean Air Day and every day.”
Ultra-low emission buses
Using ultra-low emission hybrid buses, the two established park and ride sites of Temple Green and Elland Road have been used almost 2½ million times and are currently removing 9,000 cars a week off Leeds city centre roads. Work is scheduled to get underway soon on a third park and ride facility at Stourton and Alwoodley north of the city is currently being looked at as a potential fourth Park & Ride site.
Alongside local bus operators’ £23 million investment in new vehicles for West Yorkshire, the Combined Authority has secured £3 million from the Government’s Clean Bus Technology Fund to retrofit vehicles with cleaner technology. A total of 479 buses will be converted which will result in 560 tonnes of Nitrogen Oxides - the weight of around 37 double deck buses – being removed each year from the local air we breathe. This scheme will also deliver an additional £13.4 million of health savings and environmental benefits over the five years.
Greener travel for business
Businesses are also encouraged to adopt greener travel with the support of the Combined Authority’s Travel Plan Network team who provide a range of initiatives to help them go car-free. The Travel Plan Network encourages organisations to promote sustainable travel to their workforce and is delivered by the Combined Authority and local partners.
Businesses can find out more about the Travel Plan Network and the free travel planning advice it already provides to over 350 member organisations of all sizes and sectors by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the team on 0113 348 1818.