An integrated approach to greening public transport

Source: PSE Apr/May 17

Dave Pearson, director of transport services at West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), explains how a partnership approach is encouraging more people to use public transport and improve air quality in the region.

Reducing carbon emissions from transport is a high priority for the WYCA and the five district councils of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. 

Each week in West Yorkshire, people use buses to make over 3.5 million journeys, making them by far the most highly used form of public transport. Modern, clean, frequent and reliable buses carrying over 90 people at a time combined with physical improvements such as priority, intelligent junctions and park & ride facilities can reduce congestion, improve reliability and, importantly, contribute to improved air quality as well. 

The use of smart, low-carbon, non-polluting technologies is an important part of the WYCA plans for transforming our region’s economy and is in line with the ambitions of our emerging single transport plan and the city-region’s strategic economic plan. 

Making ultra-low emission vehicles a practical and viable choice for more people will help to reduce carbon emissions, improve local air quality and transform people’s quality of life. It is also an important step towards our long-term vision for a clean, efficient integrated transport systems. 

Following successful bids to the Department for Transport (DfT) for funding, we carried out the ‘greening’ of our own fleet of MyBus and AccessBus vehicles: 

  • We have fitted 165 Euro 3 and 4 yellow buses with SCRT particulate trap and NOx reduction technology to bring them up to better than Euro 6 standard verified in independent tests
  • We are fitting 26 Euro 4 Accessbuses with the same technology this year
  • We are implementing ultra-low emission hybrid technology buses on the Elland Road and Temple Green park & ride schemes later this year
  • We are setting higher standards for bus operators undertaking contracts for us going forward – on new contracts Euro 5 by 2018, and Euro 6 by 2020. In 2018, all new bus contracts will require the operator to be a member of Ecostars, an environmental fleet recognition scheme 

We are working closely with local bus operators who have already begun replacing their older vehicles with buses meeting the latest EURO VI emissions standards.   

The new buses will be complemented by infrastructure improvements part-funded from the £173.5m of DfT funding secured following the decision not to proceed with the New Generation Transport trolleybus in May, with the funds needing to be invested in public transport before the end of 2021. Additional public and private investment would also be available, such as from the WYCA and developer contributions. 

This will offer a better experience, as well as the new buses being low Euro VI or zero-emissions vehicles, which will improve air quality in the city by reducing NOx emissions by 87%. This partnership approach, including all bus companies, is aiming to increase demand, encourage more people to use public transport and improve air quality in our cities.




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