Environmental investment and low fares help to reduce congestion and emissions
- 61% of Sheffield buses now meet European emission standards
MAJOR investments in environmental excellence and lower bus fares as part of a groundbreaking partnership are helping to reduce levels of congestion and harmful emissions in Sheffield
Following the launch of the Sheffield Bus Partnership in October 2012, the environmental performance of the city’s bus network has significantly improved.
The first of its kind in the UK, Sheffield Bus Partnership brings together South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), Sheffield City Council, First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach in Sheffield and Sheffield Community Transport to make travelling around the city simpler, more flexible and convenient.
The introduction of coordinated timetables between Stagecoach in Sheffield and First South Yorkshire to prevent duplication on key routes, discounted multi-operator tickets and newer, greener buses is improving Sheffield’s emissions footprint and has led to an increase in bus passengers of 5.3%.
Investment in the Sheffield Bus Partnership fleet means more than 60% of Sheffield’s bus fleet now meets or exceeds European environmental emissions standards, while 250 out of 400 buses will be replaced to create a 50% fleet of the highest eco standard by 2017.
Sheffield’s bus network includes 40 electric hybrid buses, which have 30% lower carbon emissions than standard buses and were launched following a £12 million investment by Stagecoach in Sheffield. All Stagecoach vehicles also run on Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel and use a high-tech fuel additive to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
First South Yorkshire has replaced 26 standard category buses with more environmentally friendly vehicles. By September 2013, a further 41 of the company’s vehicles will be replaced to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 1,770 tonnes and nitrogen oxide by 12 tonnes.
Both operators have also launched eco-driving programmes and monitoring systems, which sense manoeuvres, track speed, acceleration and braking to encourage efficient driving and reduce fuel consumption.
All Stagecoach drivers in Sheffield have achieved ‘Green Driver’ status following its ‘Eco Driver’ scheme, and First South Yorkshire’s ‘DriveGreen’ programme has seen idling rates reduced from 2.22 per cent to 1.88 per cent in a bid to reduce bus emissions.
Nearly a year of significant success has seen the Partnership shortlisted for three categories in the National Transport Awards 2013, and nominated as a finalist in the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Annual Awards for Excellence 2013. The awards will be presented in October 2013.
Paul Lynch, Managing Director of Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “Stagecoach is committed to delivering greener, smarter bus services and sustainability is at the heart of our business.
“Our customers and other stakeholders tell us the environment is a key issue for them, so we’re delighted that the Sheffield Bus Partnership is already delivering on improving the city’s emissions footprint.
“As well as investing in new eco-friendly vehicles, we have a dedicated Green Team working to implement energy saving strategies throughout the company.”
Richard Soper, Strategic Development Director for First in South Yorkshire, said: "We are continually developing new and effective ways of making bus travel better.
“First are about to launch our new fleet of the latest environmentally friendly buses in Sheffield and Rotherham which will improve even further our strong environmental track record."
David Young, SYPTE Deputy Interim Director General, said: “The ground-breaking Sheffield Bus Partnership is the most complex and geographically far reaching partnership of its kind in the UK. We took responsibility under this agreement to not only improve Sheffield’s bus offer for our customers, but to reduce the network’s environmental impact too.
“Through investment in the bus fleet and an improved network through bus priority measures and highway improvements we hope to help to improve Sheffield’s air quality and contribute to a greener, cleaner city for all.”
Councillor Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development, said: “We know that Sheffield has problems with air quality, addressing this is an important part of the Sheffield Bus Partnership Agreement, which has seen bus operators putting significant investment into high quality, low emission vehicles.
“Sheffield is now making progress towards becoming one of the greenest bus fleets in the country, which should help the city reach its goals on improving air quality.”
For more information visit sheffieldbuspartnership.co.uk