National Clean Air Day: Arriva UK Bus gears up to promote benefits of bus travel

Arriva UK Bus is gearing up for the first National Clean Air Day on 15th June, a nationwide initiative organised by the charity ‘Global Action Plan’ to raise awareness of air pollution issues and encourage the public to take collective action to improve air quality.

As one of the UK’s biggest bus operators, Arriva will launch a national social media campaign on National Clean Air Day to raise awareness about the benefits of bus travel and highlight how buses are the solution to cutting air pollution.

Recent research carried out by Greener Journeys highlighted that buses can be a key solution to the nation’s air quality problems and urban congestion. It found that nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) per passenger are 10 times worse from a modern diesel car compared to a modern diesel bus, while other reports have shown that one double decker bus could take up to 75 cars off the road.

Reducing pollution has been a vital factor in bus technology innovation for the past few decades with Arriva UK Bus investing heavily in new vehicles and technologies to run a greener, cleaner fleet. Since 2010, average emissions from Arriva’s UK bus fleet have reduced by over 50% (Particulate Matter) and over 40% (Nitrogen Oxides).
As part of its Europe-wide environmental programme, ‘Destination Green’, Arriva operates a range of low emission vehicles in the UK including hybrid, gas and fully electric buses with zero tailpipe emissions. Arriva began operating London’s first all-electric bus route in 2014, and this year will introduce over 470 new buses consisting of the latest ‘Euro VI’ standard, and further gas and electric vehicles.

During National Clean Air Day, Arriva UK Bus will take to social media to encourage people to use more environmentally friendly modes of travel. This will include communication of projects happening in regional businesses, and highlighting the key benefits of the bus to remind people that it is a viable, sustainable option to conveniently meet their travel needs and reduce air pollution.

Arriva will also be participating in various events across the country to engage people in opting for greener modes of transport. For example, in Yorkshire, Arriva has worked with other bus operators, local authorities and Radio Aire to encourage the public to make a clean air pledge and use the bus on the 15th June, to be in with the chance to win an annual bus pass and £100 shopping voucher.

In the Midlands, Arriva has also been leading a campaign on clean air, including running sessions with pupils in local schools such as Chantry Primary Academy in Luton. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the positive role buses play in improving air quality, and pupils have created posters showing key facts, the best of which will be displayed on board buses.

In the run-up to Clean Air Day, Arriva North West also advertised a special ticket offer of 50% off family saver tickets, in recognition of World Environment Day. This followed its ‘Green Day’ campaign in April which celebrated the introduction of new greener buses on Merseyside where the Liverpool RadioCity Tower also lit up in green lights showing its support. Customers could also save 50% on day tickets using a green code via the m-ticket app.

Commenting on Arriva’s commitment to tackling the UK’s air pollution issues Kevin O’Connor, Managing Director of UK Bus, said:

“Buses play a key role in efforts to improve air quality by reducing the overall number of vehicles on the road. Research by Greener Journeys has shown that without buses, congestion in city centres would be a fifth (21%) higher at peak times, significantly impacting air quality.”

“Encouraging more people out of their cars and onto public transport is therefore vital to tackling this problem, and is part of our commitment to creating healthier, less congested and less polluted cities today and for future generations.”

“Arriva UK Bus also continues to invest to ensure our own fleet is as green as possible, maximising environmental benefits for passengers. For example as part of the Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance, £21m has been invested this year in 51 new hybrid buses, including £5m of Government (OLEV) funding. These hybrids will be followed by 12 fully electric and nine gas buses in the region later this year.”

In addition to purchasing greener vehicles, Arriva UK Bus is continually innovating to make public transport more attractive to entice people out their cars, including introducing smarter mobility solutions, such as Demand Responsive Travel service ‘ArrivaClick’, a flexible minibus service that takes on multiple passengers who are all heading in the same direction. It is also introducing Wi-Fi and USB charging points onto buses.

Arriva’s environmental programme ‘Destination Green’ also extends to its facilities, targeting improvements in recycling and reductions in waste, water and energy consumption. In March this year Arriva opened its new £3m ‘clean and green’ depot in Rhyl which includes solar panels for electricity generation, LED lighting throughout, and water recycling in bus washes.

Destination Green has also been rolled out to engage employees on the environment across Arriva UK Bus, with Arriva North West and Wales achieving water savings of 25% at existing depots as a result of awareness raising activity.