National Express West Midlands marks Clean Air Day with growing zero emission bus fleet
14 June 2023 12:00 PM
National Express West Midlands expects to have nearly 180 zero emission buses in service by summer
In the West Midlands 71% of people who are currently concerned about the impact of poor air quality and pollution on children are parents or guardians 1
Across the UK, 54% of UK adults that are car owners are likely to use local buses in the next 12 months because they are increasingly conscious of their impact on local pollution and air quality 2
Clean Air Day aims to provide knowledge and encourage actions to make the air cleaner for all
National Express West Midlands is marking Clean Air Day (15 June 2023) by celebrating its growing fleet of zero emission buses and the part they play in improvements to local air quality and pollution.
The major operator of local bus services is expected to have nearly 180 zero emission buses in service by the end of summer, providing cleaner and more sustainable transport choices for people across the West Midlands.
A YouGov study conducted this month found that in the West Midlands, 71% of people who are currently concerned about the impact of poor air quality and pollution on children in their local area are parents or guardians. 1
In addition, 54% of UK adults that are car owners are likely to use local buses in the next 12 months because they are increasingly conscious of their impact on local pollution and air quality. 2
If everyone in the UK switched just one car journey a month to bus, there would be a billion fewer car journeys and a saving of 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. 3
Now in its seventh year, Clean Air Day aims to drive a positive shift in public knowledge and actions to make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone. Urging people to use more public transport is one of the simple actions that can be taken.
David Bradford, Managing Director of National Express West Midlands, said:
“Buses are the most used form of transport here in the West Midlands. Not only do our bus services play a key role in keeping people connected, they are also critical to keeping our air clean by driving down harmful emissions.
“It’s worth remembering that one double decker bus can take up to 75 cars off the road. Clean Air Day is the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves of the simple choices we can make to protect our health and that of the planet.
“Getting more people to ditch their cars and switch to the bus is vital to tackling climate change and we’re proud to be leading the way with more and more sustainable transport choices for our new and existing customers.”
Each of National Express West Midlands’ UK built zero emission buses can help improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions by saving an average of 66 tonnes of carbon annually*. With 180 vehicles in operation by the summer it is expected to save nearly 12,000 tonnes of carbon from going out into the atmosphere every year.
The bus operator already has over 100 fully electric double decker buses serving routes across Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry and a further 20 hydrogen double decker buses operating on its 51 service between Birmingham and Walsall.
In January this year National Express also announced it was investing a further £150 million in 300 UK-made electric zero emission buses to be deployed across the West Midlands by the end of 2024. Additional investment will be made in infrastructure for charging and maintenance of the fleet across its depots. The electricity to power the electric vehicles will be 100% renewable and zero carbon.
This Clean Air Day, people can visit Global Action Plan’s Clean Air Hub to find out more about how air pollution can impact our health and the environment. The website also contains a number of simple actions that people can take to reduce their personal impact.
Notes to Editors
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 6,513 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd and 6th June 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
1 In the West Midlands, amongst those currently concerned about the impact of poor air quality and pollution on children in their local area, 71% are parents or guardians
2 In the UK, amongst those who are likely to use local buses in the next 12 months because they are increasingly conscious of their impact on local pollution and air quality, 54% are car owners
3 Source: Campaign for Better Transport
* Based on data from existing National Express electric vehicles compared to a diesel bus
Fully electric buses being introduced in Coventry are part of a £140 million project to make Coventry the UK’s first all-electric bus city. A video demonstrating National Express’s progress is available to download and use here.
This year National Express is offering Bristol music-lovers a greener way to travel to Glastonbury Festival by operating zero emission double decker electric buses for the first time. From 20 - 26 June, services will transport festival-goers on a high frequency ‘shuttle-bus’ service from Bristol Bus & Coach Station direct to Worthy Farm. Full details here.