Plans to bring all buses operating in Wolverhampton city centre up to at least the Euro V emissions standard have been outlined by the region’s transport authority, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).
TfWM, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has launched plans for a city centre ‘Advanced Quality Bus Partnership’ (AQBP) for consultation with bus operators, which the organisation claims will ‘drive up air quality through engine emission standards’.
The scheme is intended to cover 70 stops, stands and shelters within the city centre ring road, including those at the WMCA-owned Wolverhampton bus station.
A 13 week public consultation period on the initiative launched this week, with the scheme being scheduled to come into effect on September 30.
The Partnership would include a commitment to have all buses operating in the area having at least Euro V engine emission standard by 1st January 2020.
Bus operators wishing to run services within the scheme area after it is introduced on September 30 must sign an agreement with the WMCA and the West Midlands Traffic Commissioner that they will fully comply with the requirements of the AQPS, the organisations have claimed.
The scheme will also introduce a slot booking system to manage on-street departures at stops, in a move that it is hoped will prevent double parking of buses, and reduce congestion and idling at stops.
Cllr Roger Lawrence, the leader of City of Wolverhampton council and lead member for transport for the WMCA, said: “This scheme is excellent news for bus passengers in Wolverhampton.
“It helps tackle the hugely important issue of air quality in the city centre by ensuring a minimum standard on bus engine emissions.
“It also ensures a smoother operation of bus services within the zone, ensuring a better environment all round for passengers.â€?
Councillor Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment at City of Wolverhampton council added: “The partnership will help us control the quality of vehicles, emissions standards and the management of bus stops and stands to ensure reliable journey times within the city centre.
“The scheme will help us achieve our on-going mission to improve the city centre environment for residents and pedestrians as well as improving services for commuters.â€?