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York leads the way on green public transport.


5:56am 17th December 2010

Eco-sensitive hybrid and electric buses are being trialled on the Designer Outlet Park & Ride route.

Bus users are being asked to give their views on the trial project, a partnership between City of York Council and First, York's principal bus operator.

The four buses - one electric Optare Solo minibus and three hybrid Volvo Double-deck buses - will be run in addition to the existing service.
The electric powered bus can be charged in six hours using mains electricity, emits no greenhouse gases at the point of use and emits 50 per cent less carbon dioxide (C02) than comparable diesel buses

The hybrid vehicles use a diesel engine and an electric motor charged using energy captured when braking, similar to the technology used in Formula 1 cars. They emit 40 per cent less C02 than similar vehicles.

The buses will pass through York's Air Quality Management Areas along Fulford Main Street and Fishergate to and from the Designer Outlet and the city centre.

This week, City of York Council will be asking bus users to complete questionnaires on this 'greener' form of public transport and First is also asking bus users to share their views on this innovative environmental project via the company's website www.firstgroup.com/york  

The trial is being run on a commercial basis by First in North Yorkshire and is separate to, but builds on, the council's work to develop an Air Quality Action Plan for Fulford Main Street. This has been funded by a £72,750 grant from Defra - the fifth highest awarded in the country.

Additional funding of £20,000 from the Low Emission Strategy Regional Group Initiative has also been awarded to York, supporting its role as regional low emissions champion.

The resulting work will produce guidance on how to cut pollution from traffic, as well as working with other cities to create 750 electric vehicle recharge points across Yorkshire.

Andrew Bradley, City of York Council's Principal Transport Planner (Operations), said: "Cleaner buses mean a reduction in harmful gas emissions. As the Designer Outlet Park & Ride route runs through a number of York's Air Quality Management Areas this is the best route on which to trial the buses.

"The council will be working closely with First to understand the benefits of electric and hybrid technology and we hope that the trial will lead to a more permanent introduction of 'greener' buses in the future."

Dave Alexander, Regional Managing Director for First in North England, said: "This is an exciting partnership initiative between First and the City of York Council which highlights our joint desire to improve air quality in York.

"We already endeavour to continually improve the quality of bus services in the area and this is an additional initiative which encourages people to leave their cars outside the city. We are now going one step further forward by looking to use the latest green technology to lower our CO2 emissions in the area.

"First, as a company, is committed to lowering its Co2 emissions by some 25% by 2020 and we are delighted to try out this new initiative to protect the rich historic fabric of a great city such as York."

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