Bus operators respond to hot weather concerns

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NCT said installing air-conditioning was not viable but its doubledeckers allowed for the maximum amount of open windows with some forced air ventilation
NCT said installing air-onditioning
was not viable but its double-deckers allowed for the maximum amount of open windows with some forced air ventilation

Bus operators have been responding to passengers’ concerns about bus travel during the ongoing heatwave in the UK.

Nottingham City Transport (NCT) has addressed passenger’s questions about why its buses do not have air-conditioning.

The firm said the amount of power needed to provide air-con would mean they would need to go up an engine size, requiring bigger wheels to cope with the extra weight and more fuel to power it.

NCT highlighted it has one of the lowest-emission fleets in the UK and was committed to maintaining this. It also said the cost implications of installing aircon would inevitably have a major impact on fares. NCT calculated that in order to pay for the facility, a single journey would have to go up by 20p to cover the extra fuel alone.

“As our British summers are only for a few weeks a year (if we’re lucky!) it is neither economically or environmentally viable to upgrade our fleet in this way,” NCT said.

The operator also claimed that unlike coaches, which can travel for hours without stopping, airconditioning on its buses wouldn’t work on a practical level, with doors and windows constantly opening and closing. NCT did assure passengers all its new vehicles include the maximum number of opening windows plus some forced air ventilation in the upper saloon of double-deckers.

Meanwhile, National Express West Midlands (NXWM) drivers are opening all the windows on their buses before they leave garage to let the cooler morning air circulate before passengers board.

NXWM also highlighted investments which have been made to ensure its vehicles remain at a comfortable temperature throughout the day, including tinted windows to limit the heat from the sun as well as air-conditioning systems.

NXWM has also reissued a call to passengers asking them to give up their seats to those who need it more, particularly during the heat wave such as pregnant women and elderly passengers.