Sir Vince Cable backs calls to help buses make York's air cleaner
Electric buses and York’s new Clean Air Zone was on the agenda as Sir Vince Cable MP paid a visit to First York ahead of Liberal Democrat Conference here in York.
Recently, £1.6 million was secured in the Council Budget to create the UK’s first voluntary Clean Air Zone in York, which will ensure that buses that frequently pass through the city centre are fitted with Euro 6 engines or better, therefore reducing pollutants in the city
The Clean Air Zone will build on the work already undertaken in the city to tackle air pollution, such as the introduction of more electric buses on the Park & Ride network.
On his visit, Sir Vince Cable was given the opportunity to see one of First York’s electric buses in action and also visit an electric bus charging station at Monks Cross Park & Ride.
Sir Vince Cable MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:
“Air pollution is one of the biggest health challenges in Britain today. I grew up in a York that was heavily polluted with factory smoke, but while the air is cleaner, there are still unacceptable levels of NOx and particulates. I was therefore pleased to take the opportunity to see the excellent work underway in York to tackle this issue.
“Cities must continue to invest and utilise new technologies, particularly electric vehicles, to cut air pollution for the benefit of current and future generations.”
Cllr Andrew Waller, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for the Environment, added:
“I am delighted to welcome Vince back to York and who him some of the excellent work ongoing in our city to combat air pollution.
“I would also like to thank First York for showcasing one of their new electric buses and charging stations; demonstrating how partners can work together to promote sustainable transport.
“The importance of ‘good’ air quality cannot be understated and we must continue in our efforts maintain these improvements.”
Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director at First York, commented:
“I’m delighted that Vince was able to see one of the latest electric buses, which will be introduced into York this year.
“Reducing emissions of buses is only part of the answer to improving air quality, as individual car use and the congestion caused is an even bigger contributor to air pollution in York. Each bus can take up to 75 cars off the congested streets, but this requires bold action to be taken to make buses an attractive choice. Reducing journey times and increasing punctuality and reliability of buses through real bus priority measures is needed if we are to reduce congestion and protect the environment.”