Bus scheme for cleaner air in Solihull gets the go-ahead

Posted: 27 July 2017 | Intelligent Transport | No comments yet

Bus passengers in Solihull can expect cleaner buses and improved facilities if a landmark scheme to improve quality gets the go-ahead.

solihull air quality

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), is launching a town centre Advanced Quality Bus Partnership (AQBP) with bus operators. The scheme will manage operation of buses at 33 bus stops in the town centre and drive up air quality through emission standards.

“This scheme is good news for bus passengers in Solihull and something we are very keen to expand across the rest of the region,” said Councillor Roger Lawrence, lead member for transport for the WMCA. “Not only does it help tackle the hugely important issue of air quality by ensuring a minimum standard on engine emissions, it also ensures a smoother operation of bus services within the zone and provide a better environment for passengers.”

The phasing in of the Solihull scheme is in line with the West Midlands Bus Alliance commitment of a minimum of all buses having at least Euro V engine emission standards by 1 January 2020.

As part of the scheme, all main bus stops at the rail station will have a slot-booking system similar to the type of operation undertaken across TfWMs bus stations. This will maximise safety at stops and prevent double parking of buses, providing a better environment for customers.

The scheme will also:

  • Protect improved bus facilities in Solihull
  • Introduce enforceable bus stops and stands within the AQPS area
  • Require Solihull Council to enforce bus stands and other Traffic Regulation Orders
  • Require operators to provide Real Time Information data feeds to improve passenger information
  • Improve driving standards and driver training.

“Solihull is part of the biggest urban area outside London and its people need and deserve a high-standard, reliable bus network,” added Councillor Bob Sleigh, leader of Solihull Borough Council and deputy mayor of the WMC. “I am delighted that this agreement is in place as it will deliver significant improvements to the town centre environment.”

The scheme will now go to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for approval at a meeting on 18 August. If granted, the scheme would come into force in November and be in place for a decade.