We have a fleet of over 700 buses which run day and night, 365 days a year.
Our easy-access fleet is among the most modern and environmentally-friendly in the UK and includes the city’s first double-deck zero-emission electric buses which were introduced in the summer of 2021 thanks to support from Scottish Power Energy Network’s ‘Green Economy Fund’.
In September 2023, we announced an order for 50 new Volvo BZL Electric double deck buses for Scotland’s capital city. At an investment of more than £24 million, these new vehicles will be introduced in two batches across 2024 with the first vehicles appearing on Edinburgh’s streets in early spring.
This investment cements our commitment to reduce emissions and improve air quality in our operating environment.
We’re immensely proud of our Engineering Team who are responsible for the maintenance and safety of all our vehicles ranging from full-electric double-deckers to Euro VI tour buses, executive coaches, operations support vans (all of which are fully electric) and more. Every bus in active service undergoes the equivalent of a full MOT every 28 days, helping teams to identify faults before they become bigger issues and to ensure the reliability and stability of our vehicles.
Since 1992, any new vehicles are required to meet a certain Euro emissions standard when they are made as part of the global challenge to improve air quality. Euro VI is the sixth and latest directive set by the European Union to help reduce the level of harmful pollutants produced by new vehicles.
Over the last 10 years we have invested over £118 million in new vehicles, with all of our fleet meeting the Euro VI emissions standards since 2020.
Developed in partnership with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and Transport Scotland, Edinburgh’s Low Emission Zone aims to improve air quality for people across the city by tackling air pollution from vehicles. It aligns with other strategic transport projects, including the City Centre Transformation and City Mobility Plan.
Only the cleanest vehicles can travel into a Low Emission Zone, with penalty charges applying to those that don’t meet the required standards. A boundary for the LEZ has been determined and plans were finalised in 2022, with implementation set for 1 June 2024. With all Lothian vehicles currently meeting Euro VI standard, we have already met the required conditions.
The first phase of our strategy, from now until the end of 2025, is dedicated to fleet investment and infrastructure. Lothian’s existing fleet replacement programme has seen the removal of around 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from our carbon footprint over a ten-year period. We are acutely aware of the effects our services have on our environment and communities, and our responsibilities in achieving local and national government climate change targets.
In the fleet replacement strand of the strategy, a significant investment has already been committed to the purchase of new double deck electric vehicles together with the required infrastructure for Lothian’s Central and Marine depots.
The following types of vehicles are being considered and trialled as part of our strategy:
Under this strategy, Lothian will announce an exciting and innovative scoping project which will explore the feasibility of repowering mid-life diesel buses to electric. Pioneering this technology will allow for potential acceleration of the net zero plan.