First Bus has announced it’s completed the refit of 1,000 buses across its UK network with new exhaust systems and e-Fans to comply with Euro VI emission requirements.
It says the £16m retrofitting programme has been successfully delivered in partnership with the Joint Air Quality Unit of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Transport (DfT), Transport Scotland, local authorities and suppliers Eminox, HJS and Grayson. First Bus adds that this has involved significant financial investment and time commitment from itself and government departments.
The milestone has been completed in just over two years and the 1,000th bus was retrofitted in Manchester. Alongside scheduling challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the operator says it has worked hard to ensure that operations have continued with limited interruption to customers during the retrofitting programme.
John Dowie, First Bus Strategy Director, said, “We are committed to doing everything we can to make our buses as environmentally friendly as they can be for the communities we serve. We’re proud to have achieved this milestone at the turn of the year, highlighting the ongoing work of our engineering teams. We estimate that each retrofit reduces air pollutants and harmful emissions by up to 95%, and this makes a considerable positive impact to air quality for our towns and cities. Bus services will be a fundamental part of economic recovery as the UK starts to emerge from the pandemic.”
First Bus has committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035, and also not to purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. In the past 12 months it says it has introduced several new bus models powered by diesel alternatives to its UK fleet. These include hydrogen-powered, bio-methane-fuelled, and electric buses.
(Picture – First Group PLC)