Pledge to catch the bus this clean air day

Buses are key to tackling congestion and reducing emissions: a fully-loaded double decker bus can take 75 cars off the road

Yorkshire bus operators First West Yorkshire, Arriva Yorkshire and Transdev are aiming to clear the air across the White Rose County today (Thursday, 15 June 2017) by inviting motorists to promise to leave the car at home for the day – in a bid to improve the city’s air pollution.

The UK’s first ever National Clean Air Day has been launched to encourage people all over the country, including Leeds, to do their bit to tackle air pollution by learning more about its causes and by taking action to make the air that we breathe cleaner and healthier for everyone.

First West Yorkshire, Arriva Yorkshire and Transdev have come together under the Bus 18 partnership to encourage Leeds travellers to pledge to catch the bus. In fact, a fully-loaded double decker can take 75 cars off the road – helping to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

First West Yorkshire Managing Director, Paul Matthews said: “As one of the major operators in West Yorkshire we have a responsibility to reduce emissions on our roads, which is why, as part of the Bus 18 Partnership, we have pledged to introduce more environmentally friendly buses with less emissions to improve air quality by the end of next year, which forms part of a £71m investment that we are making in Leeds.

“Attracting more people to get out of their cars and use public transport, will help to reduce emissions on the roads, but some people still believe that buses are bad for the environment, when in fact a bus with an average double decker bus produces less pollutants per passenger than a full car. The latest vehicles that have been added to our fleet, including the buses used for the popular X84 service, are fitted with Euro 6 engines, which are the eco-friendliest buses that we can operate, right now.

“I’d like to encourage all car users across the region to travel by bus this National Clean Air Day, as together we can help to reduce the pollution in our cities and improve air quality for the future.”

Arriva Yorkshire Area Managing Director, Jon Croxford said: “Buses play a key role in efforts to improve air quality by reducing the overall number of vehicles on the road. Research by Greener Journeys has shown that without buses, congestion in city centres would be a fifth (21%) higher at peak times, significantly impacting air quality

“Encouraging more people out of their cars and onto public transport is therefore vital to tackling this problem, and is part of our commitment to creating healthier, less congested and less polluted cities today and for future generations.

“Arriva Yorkshire, along with other Bus 18 members continues to invest to ensure our buses are as green as possible, maximising environmental benefits for passengers. For example, Arriva Yorkshire will be launching 37 brand new, more environmentally friendly buses which will go into service in West Yorkshire from the 26th June, as part of an £8m investment.

Transdev CEO Alex Hornby said: “There is no better time than now to take the pledge to leave the car at home for the day and try the bus – and those who haven’t been on board for a while will be amazed by how much we have done to create buses that people want to be seen on.

“In the last 18 months we’ve ploughed millions of pounds in new buses across Yorkshire – most recently with a £2.34 million investment in 10 all new twin-deck buses for the popular Coastliner service linking Leeds and York with the Yorkshire Coast – each powered by low emission ‘Euro 6’ engines which are eight times cleaner and greener than the previous best Euro 5 standard.

“Just one of our double deck buses can take up to 75 cars off the road tomorrow. I hope Yorkshire motorists will hang up their car keys for the day and give our buses a try, to see for themselves how bus travel is now the low stress, high value way to clear the air across our wonderful county.”

There are many reasons to try the bus in Yorkshire for Clean Air Day. Here are just six:

  • The newest vehicles are powered by Euro 6 engines which offer 95% to 99% reductions in the most harmful pollutants, such as Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Particulate Matter (PM) compared with the Euro 2 and Euro 3 powered buses they’ve replaced.
  • As part of the Bus 18 partnership, operators in West Yorkshire have signed up to have their buses rated through the ECOStars scheme, which gives each bus a one to five star rating to show passengers how efficient the bus is. The higher the star rating, the greener the bus!
  • If drivers across the UK switched just one car journey a month to the bus instead, it would mean one billion fewer car journeys and a saving of two million tonnes of CO2.
  • Buses can make town and city life better for everyone – nine out of 10 people say road traffic affects their quality of life.
  • Traffic congestion costs British businesses at least £11 billion a year in GDP – and the bill is forecast to reach £30 billion by 2030.
  • Low emission buses already on UK roads are already saving 55,000 tonnes of GHG emissions per year and delivering £8 million worth of health and environmental benefits – with more to come.