Arriva places £26.7m orders for 98 new greener buses
23 March 2012
Bus passengers will benefit from ‘greener’ transport thanks to Arriva’s plans to introduce more than £26.7m of new low carbon emission buses to its UK fleet.
This investment represents the UK’s largest orders both for Volvo hybrid buses and for MAN EcoCity gas buses.
Arriva is funding £22.2m of the investment with the remainder secured through successful bids by the group to the government’s Green Bus Fund which were announced today.
The buses, comprising 77 hybrid electric double deck vehicles and 21 carbon-neutral biogas-fuelled single decks, will offer greater comfort and greener bus travel for passengers in the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Kent.
The Green Bus Fund aims to help bus companies and local authorities in England buy new low carbon buses to increase the number of eco-friendly buses on England’s roads.
Mike Cooper, managing director, Arriva UK Bus, said: “We welcome the minister’s announcement. The Green Bus Fund is helping accelerate the introduction of low carbon emission buses across England and supports investment by the bus industry aimed at further improving bus travel’s environmental credential as one of the greenest modes of transport .
“This investment is excellent news for our customers as it will offer them state-of-the-art new buses and a more comfortable journey. The cleaner fuelled vehicles will also play an important role in delivering more sustainable transport in the communities we serve and positively contribute towards the air quality action plans that our local authority partners are working hard to achieve.
“Arriva is committed to investing heavily and our teams put forward strong bids, which resulted in us winning a significant share of the funding allocation in this round. During the bidding we worked in close partnership with our local authority stakeholders. They were very supportive and helped ensure our proposals aligned with their environmental objectives and contributed to our aspirations to continue to improve the quality of our local public transport services.”
Orders have been placed for the 98 new low carbon emission buses which will enter service over the next 12 months. The MAN Ecocity gas buses will be fuelled by carbon-neutral biomethane. The Volvo diesel-electric hybrids produce 40 to 50 per cent lower exhaust emissions and use up to 37 per cent less fuel than standard diesel buses. Arriva was the operator of the world’s first hybrid double deck bus and the group has pioneered the trialling and introduction of alternative fuels in its fleets across Europe.
The new vehicles are part of Arriva’s ongoing investment programme which is enabling the business to withdraw some of the oldest buses in its fleet. They also complement the Arriva group’s wider eco-driving initiative which is reducing fuel consumption and vehicle emissions across its UK and mainland European operations through innovative fuel indicator technology and progressive driver training techniques.
The new buses will operate as follows:
• Arriva Southern Counties. The 11 new Volvo hybrid buses will be used on service 71 from Arriva’s Maidstone Garage. This is a busy service (10 minute Monday-Friday daytime frequency) with growing traffic arising from major housing development along the route. The buses will form the basis for a Quality Partnership with Maidstone Borough Council and serve areas identified in the council’s Air Quality Action Plan as pollutant hotspots. This service would also form part of a proposed quality partnership with Kent County Council.
• Arriva North West (Liverpool). 33 new Volvo hybrid buses will be used to convert the high frequency group of cross river services (407, 432, 433, 437, 464, 472 and night 23, 37) that operate between Liverpool and the Wirral via the Mersey Tunnel, from Birkenhead. Air quality is a major issue within the tunnels. The Liverpool side of the tunnel exits directly into the Liverpool City Centre Air Quality Management Area, where reducing bus emissions will play a part in improving air quality. The hybrid buses will support delivery of the Liverpool City Council Air Quality Action Plan, the emission reduction goals in the Merseyside Local Transport Plan, and the environmental priorities of the Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority and the Passenger Transport Executive.
It is also proposed to use the 10 new MAN Ecocity single deck gas buses on Runcorn local services 1 and 2 (Runcorn East to Halton Lea Circulars) and 3A/3C (Halton Lea – Runcorn – Weston Point). These services make extensive use of the Runcorn Busway. These are intensive services providing essential links for employment, shopping and onward travel at Runcorn’s stations for people living in Runcorn Central, Castlefields, and Halton Lea. The proposals support Halton Borough Council’s Carbon Management Programme, and will assist with delivering the recommendations of the detailed Health Impact Assessment that was produced as part of the local authority’s Local Transport Plan.
• Arriva North West (Manchester). 11 new Volvo hybrid double deck buses will be used on the busy service 10, which operates a frequent (12 minute) service between Manchester and Salford. Virtually all of this route operates within areas which currently have relatively low air quality, and are situated in the designated Manchester and Salford Air Quality Management Areas. The service provides essential links from deprived areas in Salford such as Brookhouse and Lower Broughton to local centres at Eccles and Pendleton; to Manchester City Centre; and to Salford Royal Hospital. It also serves the area around Salford Shopping City, which is due for major regeneration. The proposal was supported by Transport for Greater Manchester, and is consistent with the aims of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities’ Local Transport Plan, to utilise emerging low-emissions technology.
• Arriva North East. 10 new Volvo hybrid double deck buses will operate on service 308 which is a busy trunk service operating through Blyth town centre and a designated Air Quality Management Area by Northumberland Country Council with transport emissions a key target for improvement. The route also operates into the Newcastle City Council Air Quality Management Area which includes key access routes as well as the city centre. The Green Bus Fund application was supported by Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Executive Nexus and Northumberland County Council.
In Darlington, Arriva will introduce 11 new MAN Ecocity gas buses on the busy local services 2, 11 and 12. These buses would operate using 100 per cent biomethane and would contribute to achieving the emissions reduction aims of Darlington’s Strategic Environmental Assessment and Local Transport Plan.
• Arriva Yorkshire. 12 new Volvo hybrid double deck buses will be introduced to services 163 and 166, which link Castleford with Leeds via Kippax, Garforth and Cross Gates. These are busy trunk services, every 15 minutes Mondays to Saturdays (30 minutes on Sundays) from Arriva’s Castleford Garage. The services operate through designated Air Quality Management Areas at Castleford and Leeds, and the proposals support the ambition of the West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan to encourage cleaner technologies.
• An additional Green Bus Fund award to Milton Keynes Council will support the provision of eight electric buses which will be operated by Arriva on its Bletchley – Milton Keynes – Wolverton service 7.