York bus firms awarded £1.6m ahead of Clean Air Zone

City of York Council has awarded more than £1.6m to five bus companies to help them prepare for its upcoming Clean Air Zone (CAZ) for buses.

When the CAZ launches on January 31, every bus operating frequent services on or within York’s inner ring road will be required to meet the Euro VI emission standard, or have a plan in place that will enable them to meet the standard within 12 months.

Once fitted with the equipment required to reduce emissions, the buses must then operate on routes serving the CAZ in York city centre for a minimum of five years.

The only buses that will be exempt from the requirements are those that enter the Clean Air Zone fewer than five times each day and those due to be retrofitted or replaced before 31 January 2021.

Bus operators were invited to bid for CAZ funding to help them meet the cost of retrofitting or replacing their vehicles, and a total of £1,654,000 has been allocated to the following:

Arriva Yorkshire: £252,000 to retrofit 14 buses.

First York: £1,188,000 to retrofit 66 buses.

Harrogate Coach Travel: £70,000 to retrofit 5 buses.

Reliance Motor Services: £72,000 to retrofit 4 buses and a further £54,000 towards the cost of three new Euro VI buses (total grant of £126,000).

Transdev: £18,000 to retrofit one bus.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport, said: ‘These grant allocations mean that, as the year progresses, bus emissions will gradually decrease as new and retrofitted buses come into service.

‘By February 2021, all but a very small number of infrequent bus services will meet the Euro VI emission standard. This represents a major step forwards in our drive to improve air quality in the city centre by tackling the causes of pollution, and will benefit the health and wellbeing of everyone who lives and works in York, as well as visitors to the city.

Of course, the buses operating in the CAZ will also operate throughout the city, so by declaring a city centre CAZ we will be improving air quality across York.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay