Dundee's Lochee Road has been highlighted by Friends of the Earth as the fifth most polluted street in Scotland. The amount of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) in the air is 5% higher than a new legal limit introduced in 2010. Research shows that poor air quality is related to more than 2,500 deaths across Scotland and costs the country's economy £1.1bn every year. The air we breathe can literally be the difference between prolonged life or a premature death.
Air quality is therefore a public health concern. Xplore Dundee takes very seriously its role in stamping out Dundee's emissions footprint. We're working to continually renew our fleet and improve our fuel efficiency. We have 14 hybrid vehicles (which emit a third less NOx than full-diesel) and we look forward to rolling out ten new 'EuroVI' standard buses later this year (which emit 95% less).
Following the recent revelation of the real-world impacts of diesel cars, Government data shows 45% of roadside NOx emissions comes from cars and taxis, especially those powered by diesel, compared to only 16% from buses. So we think we have a big part to play in tackling the air quality crisis. More so than being part of the problem - buses are very much a solution to pollution. What sounds better for the environment: 50 passengers riding one bus, or 50 people driving 50 separate cars?
As Dundee's biggest public transport provider, we back the bid to clean up our air quality. Dundee City Council and the Scottish Government are set to introduce a 'Low Emission Zone' (LEZ) in Dundee by the end of the decade. This will impose certain standards on both the quality and quantity of vehicles which can enter the City Centre. On this front, buses are literally a vehicle for change.
Every day our buses connect communities to school, work and hospital - and everywhere else in between. Hand-in-hand with air quality comes another issue: congestion. Our next blog post will cover that topic and outline how buses can keep our city clean and mobile.
Published 6th March 2018