National Express bus company backs Birmingham pollution trial

National Express, which operates most of the buses in the West Midlands, has welcomed the new government trials to improve air quality in Birmingham.

Starting this month, Birmingham City Council is installing ANPR cameras on key routes into the city centre to capture data on emissions from commercial vehicles.

Colin Saward, Head of Engineering at National Express, said:

“The UK bus industry is leading the way on low-carbon, low-emissions vehicles. And National Express in the West Midlands is at the forefront of this green transport revolution. 

“In 2015, we invested millions of pounds to buy 156 of the cleanest buses on the market. And in 2016, we will be buying 100 more of these buses, which are classified as Euro 6 - the highest environmental rating there is. 

“A Euro 6 bus is twenty times cleaner than the old pre-1993 Euro 0 buses. By the end of 2016, all our buses will be graded Euro 3 or better, and 60% of our fleet will be Euro 4 and above. All the new Platinum buses - the silver ones - are Euro 6 rated.

“We have had pollution experts come in to run real-world tests on our buses and they found the air inside the garage was cleaner than the air outside in the city.”

All the vehicles National Express buys in 2016 will be micro-hybrids, fitted with ‘smart electrics’, such as start/stop technology and electric cooling fans, which reduce the amount of fuel the buses use.

“In addition,” says Colin, “We are very excited to be working with Birmingham Councillor Lisa Trickett on a hydrogen fuel bus project. Hydrogen buses emit nothing but water into the air.” 

The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership points out that nationally, 25% of all the buses bought in 2015 were low emission. Only 1% of the car market was low emission.

Transport For West Midlands (TFWM) in its 2015 West Midlands Travel Trends, says that travelling by car emits 205 grams of carbon dioxide per passenger per kilometre, compared with only 110 for a bus and 73 on the Midland Metro trams.

Published 24th February 2016