Arriva invests £15.5m in green buses for NW

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Left to right: Rick Halsall, Head of Operations, Arriva Manchester, Cllr Andrew Fender, Chairman of the TfGM Committee, John Rimmer, MD, Arriva Manchester, Phil Stone, MD Arriva North West & Wales, Cllr Mark Aldred, Chairman of the Bus Network & TfGM Services Sub Committee
Left to right: Rick Halsall, Head of Operations, Arriva Manchester, Cllr Andrew Fender, Chairman of the TfGM Committee, John Rimmer, MD, Arriva Manchester, Phil Stone, MD Arriva North West & Wales, Cllr Mark Aldred, Chairman of the Bus Network & TfGM Services Sub Committee

Arriva North West has increased its green credentials with the introduction of 10 MAN EcoCity gas engine buses and 44 Volvo B5LH double-deckers to services in the North West as part of an overall investment worth £15.5m.

Special launch events were held for each of the deliveries at the operators’ Beechwood Avenue depot in Runcorn and outside Manchester town hall respectively.

The introduction MAN EcoCity gas engine buses to Runcorn follows a successful trial of the technology in Merseyside during 2012 and a £2m investment as a result of a bid to the government’s Green Bus Fund. The gas buses, powered by landfill-produced gas, went into service March 1 across Arriva’s 1, 2, X30 and 21 services.

The gas is provided by members of the Gas Bus Alliance. This recently formed organisation aims to support vehicle makers, dealers and operators with advice on all aspects of running low-emission Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles.

The 44 Volvo B5LH double decker buses with Wrightbus bodywork, are part of the largest order of its type outside of London and form Arriva Manchester’s first hybrid fleet. The vehicles entered service March 2 on the busy city service 10, which runs between Manchester and Salford.

The investment is part of a group wide campaign by Arriva to introduce more than £26.7m of new low carbon emission buses to its UK fleet. Arriva is funding £22.2m of the investment with the remainder provided by the Green Bus Fund.

Commenting on the introduction of the CNG vehicles John Rimmer, Managing Director of Arriva Manchester said: “The buses have been specially designed for the UK market and, as they run on bio-gas, provide a carbon neutral solution to the environmental challenges we face as a transport provider in the 21st century. This is a fantastic investment for Runcorn and these improvements are another step towards making bus travel as environmentally friendly as possible.

“The future will see further investment to reinforce our commitment to greener travel.”

On the new Hybrids, Cllr Andrew Fender, Chairman of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “Greater Manchester now has more new hybrid diesel-electric buses than anywhere outside London – by summer this year there will be 230. Our lead in this area is really something to be proud of and I’m glad to see Arriva playing their part.”