More ultra-low emission buses to arrive in Leeds
First Leeds pledged to invest £71 million in 284 new ultra-low emission vehicles for Leeds, and now a third will have been delivered by January 2019.
First Leeds will have delivered over a third of its £71 million investment in new ultra-low emission vehicles for the city by January 2019.
In December 2017, First Leeds announced it would invest in 284 new vehicles as part of its commitment to provide new ultra-low emission vehicles for the city by 2020. Over a third will have been delivered to the city by January 2019, with 47 vehicles introduced in 2018 and 58 due to arrive by January 2019.
The new vehicles have been delivered in three phases so far, including 34 new ultra-low emission Euro VI vehicles in April 2018 (LeedsCity); eight new ultra-low emission Hybrid Electric buses in June 2018 (Elland Road and Temple Green Park and Ride); and five new ultra-low emission Euro VI engine vehicles in October 2018 (new X26 service).
Paul Matthews, Managing Director at First Leeds, said: “We are committed to reducing vehicle emissions to improve air quality in Leeds and we’re delighted to have delivered a third of the new vehicles for the city already. Improving air quality in Leeds is a huge priority and the investment in ultra-low emission demonstrates First Leeds’ commitment to work in partnership with the local authority. Our new vehicles incorporate the latest features in bus travel, including next stop audio announcements, USB charging points and free Wi-Fi, and it’s therefore important that we continue to work with our partners to promote the benefits of bus travel and encourage people to switch from travelling by car to bus, as one double decker can take 75 cars off the road.”
The £71 million investment is running in parallel to a citywide strategy to encourage behaviour change making public transport a more attractive option to reduce car use and overall emissions levels to improve air quality. Through ‘Connecting Leeds’, Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority have committed to a significant investment in priority measures, stops and interchanges in the city. These schemes, combined with vehicle investment and other customer service enhancements, will enhance the customer offer in Leeds and provide a platform to reach the ambitious target of doubling bus patronage over 10 years.
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Councillor Richard Lewis, said: “As part of our Connecting Leeds plans to transform transport in the city we welcome this much needed bus investment by First Leeds. Lots of work is already going on across the city and we’re continuing the transport conversation to enhance bus services to make bus travel faster, more efficient, reliable and cleaner.
“The Leeds Transport Conversation found 78 per cent of people responding wanted improved public transport and this is what we’re getting on with, supported by our bus operator partners.”
Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “Brand new, low-emission vehicles that offer passengers free Wi-Fi and USB charging points, combined with physical measures to ensure journeys are more punctual and reliable, will help achieve our shared aim of growing bus use.
“One of our key aims is to reduce congestion because it creates costs for local businesses and is harmful to air quality, so more people using buses resulting in fewer cars on the roads, has to be good news.”