Thank you to everyone who came along to the launch of our business environmental strategy on Sunday.
As you will know, part of this strategy sees us pledge to only operate Euro 5 or more environmentally friendly buses by the end of 2020 in order to meet the Scottish Government’s target of a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Our 2020 Vehicle Plan, which commenced in 2016 and runs to the end of 2020, sets out our investment plans and the reasons behind the purchase and disposal of vehicles in order to achieve this target, estimated at £78 million.
To demonstrate the impact that removing cars from our roads and replacing them with clean and sustainable public transport solutions can have, we invited 100 car users to the event on George Street to give a high impact visual comparison of how much physical road space can be created if this number of car owners travelled in one of our new Alexander Dennis Enviro400XLB buses compared to them travelling independently by car.
Richard Hall, Lothian’s Managing Director said:
Lothian is an essential part of the fabric of Edinburgh and Scotland and carries over 350,000 customers every day across our complete operating area. We are continually looking to the future and how we evolve our business model, including how an ‘active’ travel journey which includes walking, cycling and public transport will play a role in the evolution and development of society and the socio-economic change we are now seeing across the world. Add to that the obvious health benefits and it’s a simple solution.
Even with buses accounting for less than 5% of the overall road transport emissions, it’s still important that we play our part as a sociably responsible business by doing everything we can to reduce emissions in our city. Our Bus2020 strategy sets out our plans to cut our emissions to reduce our impact on the environment and ensure we meet the Scottish Government’s 42% climate reduction target.
As technology moves forward we will evolve our long term relationships and continue to work with our key suppliers to review, trial and invest in the latest technologies to ensure we are leading the way in tackling air quality and climate change.
Nick Page, Managing Director for Volvo Bus UK and Ireland said:
Volvo Bus in the UK and Globally has remained at the forefront of environmentally friendly products, ensuring that the latest legislative demands are met and exceeded, while working with Government and organisations to drive the low carbon and low emission bus agenda.
Over the last 20 years there have been significant developments in engine and driveline technologies from Euro 2 through to the latest clean Euro 6 technologies, including those fitted to Lothian’s latest vehicles. Lothian have been with us throughout our journey and have continuously challenged us to deliver products that not only meet but exceed the latest legislative demands. These products have included longer wheelbase double deck vehicles, hybrid vehicles and a new high capacity double deck vehicle.
Whilst there have been ongoing concerns over diesel vehicle emissions over the last 18 months, Euro 6 heavy diesel vehicles are cleaner than ever and this is why we are happy to work with Lothian to deliver these latest Euro 6 vehicles to Edinburgh.
Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener, The City of Edinburgh Council said:
We support Lothian’s drive to reduce greenhouse gases. As a Council we are firmly committed to improving air quality through a number of measures including the future introduction of a Low Emission Zone with support from the Scottish Government. Encouraging the public to choose sustainable travel as an alternative to the car is central to this.
Using public transport instead of private cars can dramatically reduce the number of cars on our road and the impact of congestion on the city. The buses shown by Lothian this weekend ably demonstrate that. As Lothian continues to invest in lower emission buses, car-dominated streets can become a thing of the past.
Since 2011, we have substantially reduced emissions through the purchase of over 300 vehicles and the disposal of older vehicles. By the end of 2020, Lothian will have removed 12,219 tonnes of CO2 emissions and 307 tonnes of NOx emissions from the local environment.
Find out more on our dedicated web page: www.lothianbuses.co.uk/bus2020