Major bus operators in Leicester, including Arriva, Centre Bus, First Kinchbus and Stagecoach, have committed to a new partnership with Leicester City Council, with the target of achieving the highest European clean air standard for buses by the end of the decade.
Since Leicester’s Air Quality Action Plan was introduced in 2015, bus operators in the area have invested more than £20m in greener vehicles and brought the average emission standard of the city’s bus fleet from below Euro IV to almost reach Euro V, above the original target. The new commitment will see all of city’s buses meet or exceed Euro VI standards by the end of 2020, with a further ambition to introduce zero emissions vehicles to the fleet by 2030.
From January 2021, bus operators in Leicester will be required to pay a charge for running non-Euro VI compliant vehicles in the city.
Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment, sustainability and public health, said, “Tackling emissions from diesel vehicles is vital to achieving better air quality. Our local bus operators are leading by example and should be applauded for their efforts and investment in cleaner air vehicles. Bringing emissions from the city’s bus fleet down and achieving at least Euro IV standard was one the key aims of the Leicester air quality action plan. We’ve now exceeded that.
“We’ve made good progress but more needs to be done. I’m pleased that our local bus operators share our commitment to achieving the highest Euro VI standard by the end of 2020, and to working together to deliver zero emission buses beyond that.”
Kevin O’Leary, Engineering Director at Arriva, said, “Arriva are delighted to be working with Leicester City Council on this. We are committed to positioning bus travel as a viable alternative to car travel. In order to do this we need to ensure that our customers are given access to transport that meets their growing expectations in terms of technology and comfort, but that also delivers with regards to environmental standards. We believe that working in partnership with local authorities is the best way to make bus travel an even more attractive choice and linking people to work, education and employment opportunities throughout Leicester.”