Less Vroom to Breathe

Emissions Emergency

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?

Dundee Cleaning up its Act

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.

Top Five Fast Stats

  • Of the 17,305 vehicles that use Lochee Road every day, less than 2% are buses
  • Traffic numbers on Lochee Road have risen by 3,000 in the last 15 years - of which 1,900 are cars and 1,100 are delivery vans. The number of buses, meanwhile, has remained steadily consistent in that time
  • Average occupancy of a car is 1.2 passengers, whereas buses have a maximum seated capacity of 75
  • On a per-passenger basis, buses are five times more environmentally friendly - but have the potential to be almost ten times more fuel-efficient than cars
  • NOx emissions are four times higher in congested conditions than in free-flowing traffic. Three quarters of congestion is caused by an over-abundance of under-occupied vehicles

Published 6th March 2018