Cleaner buses for Brighton & Hove
Upgraded buses will complete 130,000 greener journeys a year
A total of 35 buses in Brighton & Hove will be fitted with green technology to help cut harmful emissions by up to 90% after successful bids by Brighton & Hove City Council for £498,750 of government funding was announced on Sunday 3 January 2016.
The new number of vehicles to be adapted now adds to 50 buses which were fitted with the same technology in 2014 and are already running on routes in the city.
The buses selected for the latest upgrade all regularly pass through the bus low emission zone, a designated area where the council has committed to improving air quality. The low emission zone is an air quality action plan measure aiming to reduce local concentrations of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) to protect people’s health. NO2 is considered a serious pollutant with potential to damage health, in particular for those with respiratory and lung issues.
The government’s Clean Bus Technology Fund 2015 is being awarded to 18 local authorities across England to retrofit buses with technology to reduce emissions in pollution hotspots. Due to their high mileage and long operational life, introducing greener buses can significantly help air quality in town and city centres. The buses upgraded from this fund in Brighton & Hove will complete 130,000 journeys a year.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee, said: “We welcome the funding which will be used to retrofit buses to improve their efficiency and reduce emissions. Bus companies in the city are supportive of ways to provide cleaner technology which will in turn improve air quality. People make more bus journeys in Brighton & Hove than almost anywhere else, so the money will be put to good use, helping to improve the environment for those that use the services in and around the city.”
The buses will be fitted with exhaust gas treatment systems called selective catalytic reduction and will be back on the roads after their upgrade. As part of the award, councils must continue to monitor the schemes and provide evidence of their effectiveness.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP said: “Greener buses mean a cleaner city centre for Brighton and a healthier environment for everyone. The 35 upgraded buses that will soon hit the roads continue our commitment to better air quality by investing in greener transport. By targeting pollution hotspots and backing the low-emission technology of the future, we are making the right long-term decisions to improve people’s lives.”
The buses to be adapted comprise of vehicles from Sussex Bus, which is part of the Heritage Group of Buses and Coaches, and The Go Ahead Group, which includes Brighton & Hove Buses and Metro Bus.
By 2017 at least one third of the local bus fleet will have lower emissions of nitrogen oxides due to a combination of the adapted buses plus 24 additional new buses introduced in late 2015 where cleaner technology is fitted as standard. The Big Lemon has a separate bid for electrical buses with the Office of Low Emission Vehicles, an announcement about the outcome of the application is due later in January.