Digbeth depot air cleaner than Birmingham city centre

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Readings taken at the National Express West Midlands (NXWM) depot in Liverpool Street, Digbeth, have found that the air quality is worse outside the depot than inside it, according to a report in the Birmingham Mail.

Fumes from diesel engines have raised pollution levels in Birmingham city centre to dangerously high levels and the Government has ordered the council introduce a clear air zone and start charging highly-polluting commercial vehicles by 2020.

NXWM is part way through replacing its fleet with Euro 6 vehicles and is recording low pollution levels in its garage. It currently has 156 on the road, with 100 more to arrive before the end of the year.

NXWM Head of Engineering, Colin Saward, said: “The UK bus industry is leading the way on low-carbon, low-emissions vehicles, and National Express in the West Midlands is at the forefront of this green transport revolution.

“In 2015, we invested millions of pounds to buy 156 of the cleanest buses on the market, and in 2016, we will be buying 100 more of these buses, which are classified as Euro 6.

“A Euro 6 bus is 20 times cleaner than the old pre-1993 Euro 0 buses.

“We have had pollution experts come in to run real-world tests on our buses and they found the air inside the garage was cleaner than the air outside in the city.”

All the vehicles National Express buys in 2016 will be micro-hybrids, fitted with ‘smart electrics,’ such as start/stop technology and electric cooling fans.

The operator is also working with the city council on a hydrogen fuel project.