First Bus Glasgow launches new low emission buses

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Credit: Lenny Warren / Warren Media

Sam Doak
Reporter

These buses have been launched ahead of the introduction of Glasgow’s low emission zone in December

First Bus Glasgow has unveiled 75 new low emission buses. The buses will initially operate on route 75 between Castlemilk and Milton but will gradually serve additional routes throughout the city.

The introduction of the new double-decker buses comes prior to the implementation of Scotland’s first low emission zone in Glasgow in December. The low emission zone will be implemented in a number of phases. Initially, only public transport will be affected but under current plans, all vehicles within the city centre will have to adhere to council set emission standards by the year 2022. The council is currently working with other public transport providers to ensure their fleets are upgraded so as to meet emission targets.

First Glasgow’s new vehicles come as the result of a £14 million investment by the company aimed at improving the services it provides within the city. The new buses were unveiled at an event in George Square hosted by Des Clarke from Capital FM. The low emission vehicles will also be equipped with free public wifi and charging points for mobile phones.

The cabinet secretary for transport, Michael Matheson commented on First Bus’s introduction of low emission vehicles, saying: “Bus services play an important part in our transport system and the Scottish government is working in partnership with operators to improve the environment and air quality in our towns and cities with greener fleets. It is very encouraging to see the introduction of these new buses in Glasgow.”

He went on to add: “We are providing support for operators, including First Glasgow, to push beyond normal diesel to greener technologies through the Green Bus Fund and Bus Services Operators Grant, ensuring that buses continue to keep Scotland moving while addressing air quality issues and climate change.”

A World Health Organisation investigation carried out in 2017 found Glasgow to be one of the most polluted areas in the UK, with levels of air pollution exceeding those in London and Birmingham. It is hoped that the implementation of emission standards for vehicles within the city will work towards reducing air pollution in Glasgow to more acceptable levels.