£1.6 million to make York’s buses cleaner and greener

Before the launch of a Clean Air Zone in York city centre later this month, City of York Council has awarded over £1.6 million to five bus companies to make their vehicles more environmentally-friendly.

Bus operators were invited to bid for Clean Air Zone funding to help them meet the cost of ‘retrofitting’ their vehicles with cleaner exhausts to meet the Euro VI emission standard, which sets maximum limits for certain harmful gases and particulate matter that a vehicle is allowed to emit. When the Clean Air Zone launches on 31 January, every bus operating frequent services on or within York’s inner ring road will be required to meet the Euro VI emission standard, or have a plan in place that will enable them to meet the standard within a year.

As a result of the £1,654,000 allocated funding,  93 buses will either be ‘retrofitted’ or replaced. From 31 January 2020, the only buses that will be exempt from the requirements are those that enter the Clean Air Zone fewer than five times each day and those due to be retrofitted or replaced before 31 January 2021.

Andy D’Agorne, executive member for Transport, said: “These grant allocations mean that, as the year progresses, bus emissions will gradually decrease as new and retrofitted buses come into service. By February 2021, all but a very small number of infrequent bus services will meet the Euro VI emission standard. This represents a major step forwards in our drive to improve air quality in the city centre by tackling the causes of pollution, and will benefit the health and wellbeing of everyone who lives and works in York, as well as visitors to the city. Of course, the buses operating in the Clean Air Zone will also operate throughout the city, so by declaring a city centre CAZ we will be improving air quality across York.”