City council gets more than £500,000 to fit nitrogen dioxide filters on 32 buses running through areas of city with poor air quality
Buses in Leicester will be fitted with emission filtering equipment, following the award of more than £500,000 from the government’s Clean Bus Technology fund.
Leicester city council will install nitrogen dioxide filtering equipment on 32 Arriva buses which run through the Loughborough Road and Melton Road areas of the city, which have been designated as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) due to high levels of nitrogen dioxide from road traffic.
Buses are believed to account for between 33-40% of all the nitrogen dioxide emissions in the area, and it is hoped that the new measures could help to remove the requirement for an AQMA to be in place.
City mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Air quality in the city is something we’ve been working very hard to monitor and improve for a number of years, with a designated Air Quality Management Area covering the city centre, the main arterial routes and sections of the outer ring road.
“Traffic fumes are clearly a major component of air pollution, and in particular nitrogen dioxide, along these busy routes. This share of Department for Transport funding means we can work with Arriva to cut these emissions, and I will be very interested to see how well it works.
“It is one of the biggest steps we’ve taken as a council to tackle bus emissions, and could really help make a noticeable improvement to air quality in the worst-affected areas, such as Melton Road and the Golden Mile.â€?
Engineering director Matt Evans from Arriva Midlands said: “We are extremely pleased to be working alongside the city and county councils on this exciting project. Improving emissions and reducing damage to the environment is at the heart of Arriva values and there will be a benefit to all that live and work in these areas.â€?
The £ 5million Clean Bus Technology Fund was originally unveiled by the Department for Transport (DfT) in August, with the aim of improving air quality in cities across the UK. Eleven local authorities have been awarded grants for projects (see airqualitynews.com story).
In February, the DfT also announced it would be providing another £5 million, match funded by the London Mayor, to upgrade 900 older buses in the capital by March 2014 with exhaust after-treatment technology. According to the Department, initial tests of these buses have shown reductions of up to 88% of harmful emissions.