City council to retrofit five buses with compressed natural gas engines to reduce emissions in AQMA
Sheffield city council is to upgrade five buses operating on routes throughout the city to run on biomethane in a bid to improve air quality in the area.
With the help of funding from the government’s Clean Bus Technology Fund the £1 million scheme will see the vehicles retrofitted with compressed natural gas engines, replacing the diesel engines that are currently used.
According to the council, the change will see particulate matter emissions from exhausts ‘virtually eliminated’ as well as halving engine noise and delivering substantial carbon savings.
Councillor Jack Scott, Sheffield city council’s cabinet member for environment, recycling and streetscene, said: “It’s really good news that we’ve been able to secure this money. Greener buses will help reduce fuel costs.
“Even better, these buses are clearly much better for the environment – a hugely important issue for us, given that in Sheffield 500 people per year die prematurely from bad air quality. Their introduction will help to improve our environment and maintain our reputation as a cutting edge city for technology and innovation.â€?
Five Euro IV Optare Solo buses will be fitted with the Natural Gas Engines and will operate along Stagecoach’s SL2 and 35a routes.
The hilly routes, which create an increase in emissions because the vehicles are working at capacity, are within the city’s Air Quality Management Area and provide an important link to Stagecoach Supertram serving the city centre, Hillsborough, universities and Meadowhall.
The investment also includes the installation of a Compressed Natural Gas refuelling station at Stagecoach’s Ecclesfield depot.
Sheffield City Council led the Clean Bus Technology Fund bid in partnership with Stagecoach as part of the Sheffield Bus Partnership. The scheme will start in the early 2014 when work to retrofit the vehicles is complete.
Paul Lynch, managing director, Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in securing this significant Clean Bus Technology Funding.
“It forms part of our continued commitment to improving air quality by switching from diesel to cleaner fuels. Along with our own investment into the scheme, it supports the reduction of reliance on diesel as a primary fuel source in the future.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).
Leicester city council is among the recipients of funding through the scheme and this month revealed that it will be installing nitrogen dioxide filtering equipment on 32 Arriva buses (see airqualitynews.com story)