First West Yorkshire unveils £8.1m investment in Bradford

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39 new Wrightbus StreetDeck double-deckers are to be introduced to Bradford services as part of an investment to reduce emissions and pollution

On Tuesday 1 March First West Yorkshire unveiled the first new buses in a multi-million pound investment to help reduce emissions and pollution in Bradford. Three double-deckers were on show at City Park in a special ceremony attended by senior directors of First West Yorkshire and Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford City Council and portfolio lead on transport for West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The new Wrightbus StreetDeck and StreetLite buses feature Euro VI engines which achieve significant reductions in harmful pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, making the buses up to 95% cleaner than some they are replacing, the operator said.

The vehicles, which wear a new City of Bradford brand and livery, are part of a total fleet of 28 double-deckers to be introduced in the coming weeks on the X6 and 72 services between Bradford and Leeds. A further 11 single-decker buses will be added in the summer to operate on routes within the city.

First West Yorkshire has invested £8.1m in the 39 buses with additional funding support from Bradford City Council. Managing Director Paul Matthews said: “This is a significant day in our long-term vision to upgrade the fleet to give customers a better travel experience and play our part in achieving major improvements to air quality in the Bradford city region. Our new buses are fitted with the latest on-board features to provide connectivity on the move, better journey information while travelling and greater comfort.”

The new buses will help First to comply with the Bradford Clean Air Zone, set to be introduced this spring. Existing vehicles used on routes X6 and 72, which are also Euro VI, will be cascaded to other corridors across Bradford and the operator has completed the retrofit of 99 buses with replacement exhaust systems to meet the standards required, with only a few remaining to be converted.

Councillor Hinchcliffe said: “It is great to see the investment that First West Yorkshire has made to ensure that its fleet will contribute to reducing pollution and improving air quality in the district.

“We are proud to be working with all Bradford bus companies and providing grants for new buses and retrofits to meet clean air zone standards. Bradford Council has worked with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) to facilitate the upgrade over 300 buses to meet Clean Air Zone standards and is also supporting current Zero Emission Bus Fund applications by Transdev and Arriva which will hopefully see 40 electric buses coming into service in the district next year.”

The new buses feature next stop audio announcements, USB charging points, free Wi-Fi and e-leather seating. Paul added: “Improving air quality in Bradford is a huge priority and this investment in ultra-low emission buses demonstrates our commitment to work in partnership with the local authority. Road congestion continues to be one of the biggest issues facing bus services, It’s important that we continue to work with the city council and other bus operators to encourage less car usage across Bradford and entice more people to travel by bus.”

First West Yorkshire Managing Director Paul Matthews with Simon Carlisle, Engineering Director and Tom Bridge, Operations Director. FIRST