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Bus News Lead Story: Issue 353 9 Jan 2009

PTEG report calls for improvements to bus emissions in the city regions

By Andrew Garnett

A new environmental report commissioned by the Passenger Transport Executive Group has called for urban bus fleets to be modified or replaced if buses are to retain their green credentials over the private car.

It also argues for the introduction of Low Emission Zones to tackle pollutants and, in particular, the use of Traffic Regulation Conditions to tackle harmful bus emissions.

The report, produced by consultants TTR,  finds that, because of the volume of older and more polluting buses...

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Irvine
18 Jan 2009

Retrofitting ‘clean’ technologies and buying new ‘clean’ or hybrid vehicles will not make a massive difference to air pollution produced by urban diesel bus fleets. Even hybrids will not help much. They are really diesel buses with regenerative transmissions that depend on very specific duty cycles to achieve the large benefits touted for them. If North American experience is a guide, in daily practical usage in large fleets over a range of duty cycles, hybrids will produce, at considerable cost, relatively modest improvements in fuel consumption and emissions compared with conventional diesels. The diesel – or any other form of combustion engine – needs to be taken off the bus. Pure battery buses are only practicable in niche applications. Fuel cell buses are a sometime, possibly or probably never technology. That leaves only the electric trolleybus. Worldwide outside Britain and despite some minor setbacks, trolleybus technology is in resurgence and could be and should be in Britain, if a favourable Legal and Regulatory climate could be provided.