We have a vision to deliver a world-class, efficient and sustainable bus service.

Accounting for a quarter of the Scottish population, Edinburgh is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK.

As our capital and its environs grow and evolve, so too does the need for sustainable, affordable active travel.

We are fully committed to providing an environmentally friendly transport service, and our Bus2020 strategy outlines how we plan to achieve this.

What is Bus2020?

We are working hard to lower emissions and have set an overall goal to meet the Scottish Government’s ambitious Climate Change targets. By 2020 the Lothian family will cut our emissions footprint by 42% and operate at a minimum of Euro 5.

We are fully committed to providing an environmentally friendly transport service and have made substantial investments in low emission buses. Our new Euro 6 buses see up to a 98% reduction in harmful emissions.

Our commitment by 2020


We will have our entire fleet operating at Euro 5 or above


We will reduce particulates by 75%


We will reduce harmful nitrogen oxides emissions by 98%


We will meet the Scottish Government’s target of a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emission


We will remove over 12,000 tonnes of CO2 from our carbon footprint (since 2011)

Air pollutants explained

Air pollution is one of the major environmental issues in the UK, with impacts occurring at local, regional and global scales. Two of the main air pollutants in the UK are Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Particulate matter (PM).

Nitrogen oxides
NOx is a generic term for the nitrogen oxides that are most relevant for air pollution, namely nitrogen monoxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). These gases contribute to the formation of smog and acid rain, as well as affecting the ozone layer.

In transport terms, particulates are the soot particles produced by diesel engines. Particulate matter (PM) can affect our health. When inhaled, particles can be carried into the lung and can exacerbate respiratory conditions such as asthma.

What have we achieved so far?

Our part in Scotland's story

As an integral part of daily life in Edinburgh and the Lothians, we are committed to providing sustainable transport that is accessible to all. This includes our promise to improve air quality in the area by 2020, in line with the Scottish Government’s targets.

Air quality - the issue

  • Air pollution has been a growing area of concern in Edinburgh for a number of years
  • This increase in air pollution has been caused by increases in traffic and congestion and has led to breaches in acceptable levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM).
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) are pollutants linked to health problems such as heart disease and cancer and can exacerbate asthma

What is an AQMA?

  • Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) are areas in which local authorities have assessed the air quality and improvements have been deemed necessary
  • Six AQMAs have been declared in Edinburgh​
  • First AQMA in East Lothian was declared in Musselburgh in 2013​

Edinburgh AQMAs

What are we doing?

  • Overall road transport emissions data shows that buses account for only 5% of total emissions
  • Lothian has purchased a large number of Euro 6 diesel buses to support improvements in AQMAs
  • Euro 6 diesel buses substantially reduce harmful NOx emissions by 98% and particulates by up to 75%
  • Recent data shows a steady decline in NOx emissions in Edinburgh, due in part to Lothian’s bus fleet improvement

2021 and beyond - our vision

By 2021, Lothian will have removed almost 15,000 tonnes of CO2 from our carbon footprint both from the fleet replacement and internal environmental strategies.

However the journey doesn’t stop here. Lothian will build on our commitment to sustainability.

We will:

commit to even longer term environmental goals

operate a world-class, efficient,
green transport service

lead the way in tackling air quality and climate change

work to deliver new targets successfully