Clean bus technology makeover will deliver NHS savings
A further 179 of West Yorkshire's buses will be fitted with technology to reduce their emissions and improve local air quality.
21 March 2019
This work will be carried out thanks to a successful bid for almost £3 million to the government's Clean Bus Technology Fund by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
Extending the programme that is already underway to cover a total of 479 buses will increase the amount of Nitrogen Oxides removed from 359 to 560 tonnes - the weight of around 37 double deck buses annually.
Health savings and environmental benefits
As a result of this second successful bid, the scheme will also deliver an additional £13.4 million of health savings and environmental benefits over the five years. This will bringing the total to over £37.2 million.
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said: "I am delighted that in the week that we officially launched the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance, which has Cleaner Air as one of its key aims, this additional funding has been announced."
"The reduction in pollution levels and the health benefits of the original scheme covering 300 buses were significant but the funding to include a further 179 buses in the scheme is going to give it a big, and very welcome boost to local people's health."
Emissions must be lowered
Announcing the funding, Environment Minister Therese Coffey said: "We all know that air pollution is the top environmental risk to health in the UK. Nitrogen dioxide emissions must be lowered if we want to ensure cleaner and healthier air across the country.
"Local authorities are the best placed to introduce systems that work for their areas, which is why we are working closely with them to ensure they have the appropriate funding and support."
As a result of the original successful bid by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Council to the Clean Bus Technology Fund, work to retrofit 300 buses, around a third of West Yorkshire's fleet, is about to get underway. The retrofitted vehicles converted will be those that run into and out of Leeds and Bradford as well as other areas facing air quality improvement targets.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority has already used funding from the DfT's Clean Bus Technology Fund to retrofit its 26 AccessBus vehicles. The AccessBus service provides door-to-door local transport for people with limited mobility who are unable to use conventional bus services.
The West Yorkshire Bus Alliance, which is committed to putting customers at the heart of improving services was launched earlier this week in Bradford. The Alliance brings together the Combined Authority, bus operators Arriva, First and Transdev and is focusing on the three areas of Cleaner Air, Customer Care and Connectivity.