Tuesday 17 April 2012

Green Buses for Arriva

Arriva North East have issued a press release covering plans to introduce new low Carbon Emission buses to its Darlington fleet after a successful bid by the group to the government’s Green Bus Fund.
 MAN Ecocity on trial in the North East with Go Ahead.
Arriva have ordered 11 for their Darlington services.

Picture © Steven Hodgson 
They will introduce 11 new Ecocity gas buses on the busy local services 2, 11 and 12. These buses will operate using 100 per cent biomethane.
The Green Bus Fund aims to help bus companies and local authorities in England buy new low carbon buses to increase the number of eco-friendly buses on England’s roads.
Arriva is funding £22.2m of the investment with the remainder secured through successful bids by the group to the government’s Green Bus Fund.
Nigel Featham, managing director for Arriva North East, said: “We are committed to delivering more sustainable transport in the communities we serve; we were so pleased to learn that our local services in Darlington would benefit from this investment and it will mean our customers have state-of-the-art new buses offering an all round improved journey experience. The cleaner fuelled vehicles will also contribute towards the air quality action plans that our local authority partners are working hard to achieve.”
Arriva’s application to the Green Bus Fund was supported by Darlington Borough Council.
Councillor David Lyonette, Darlington Council’s Cabinet Member of Transport said “We were pleased to support Arriva with this bid; by reducing carbon emissions these new vehicles will help us achieve the objectives of our Local Sustainable Transport Fund and Local Transport Plan while improving travel for passengers in Darlington”.


Focus Comment.
Apparently Arriva’s application to the Green Bus Fund "Was supported by Darlington Borough Council" Does anyone know what that means, does it involve the council investing in infrastructure to assist buses and their passengers?
During previous applications for Green Bus Funding in nearby Newcastle upon Tyne the Stagecoach press release included a quote from Newcastle City Councillor Wendy Taylor stating “The city council will actively support these services by introducing an environmental zone and air quality management area in a central location and stepping up enforcement measures to improve reliability. We continue to work with partners to seek funding for further major investment in key routes in the city as we strive to remain at the forefront of innovation in transport and energy.”
A senior official of the council admitted that this wasn't going to happen. The same words are churned out whenever the council feel a need to "show support". I emailed Councillor Wendy Taylor on 18th October 2010 enquiring whether these measures would be in place by the time the new buses entered service and still await a reply. We have the buses, but we don't have anything from the council.
David Gambles