More new low emission buses will be taking to Cornwall’s streets over the next few weeks as part of a £16.5 million investment into public transport.
Part of the Transport for Cornwall fleet, the Euro 6 vehicles are the latest generation of cleaner diesel buses and are said to produce 75 per cent less nitrogen dioxide than earlier models.
Go Cornwall Bus won the tender to run the Transport for Cornwall supported bus network earlier this year. To deliver the new service, the company ordered 92 buses – 17 double deck vehicles and 65 single deck buses of varying lengths, designed to cope with Cornwall’s varied road network and narrow streets.
Half of the buses were delivered before the coronavirus lockdown put a temporary halt on production. Now the remaining buses, which can take contactless payments, are on their way.
The new buses will make up two thirds of the total supported bus network, with the remainder being refurbished to include engine upgrades to help make them more environmentally friendly.
Richard Stevens, managing director for Go Cornwall Bus, which operates the supported Transport for Cornwall routes in partnership with Cornwall Council, said: "We are hugely excited that the Transport for Cornwall vision is coming to life on the road. The most publicly visible parts of a bus operation are the buses on the road, so putting the new bus fleet into service will make a significant difference to the standard of public transport that passengers in Cornwall can enjoy.
“Forward thinking by Cornwall Council during the tender of the subsidised bus network in Cornwall required buses to be Euro 6 by 2024. This meant a big investment in the fleet from the outset, bringing ambitions forward."
Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “Over recent years we have strived to give local residents choices about how they travel – we have several air quality management areas across Cornwall and most of these are in areas which are home to some of our most congested roads.
“These new vehicles provide greener buses which produce the lowest emissions available – passengers are not only doing their bit by helping to reduce the number of cars on our roads, they are also travelling in more environmentally friendly vehicles.”