It’s Clean Air Day today (8th October), and the region’s largest bus company, Go North East, is celebrating its contribution to improving the region’s air quality and repeating its reassurance that bus travel is safe, clean and essential to reducing congestion and improving air quality.
Go North East’s bus services help to take millions of car journeys each year off the region’s roads, and its green credentials have been boosted further recently with investments into new buses that are clean, green, and environmentally friendly.
In recent weeks, the company has started to take delivery of further high-specification, low-emission buses that will help revolutionise travel across the region.
Go North East has invested £4.5million into new and refreshed buses in Consett, including its premium express X-lines routes to Gateshead and Newcastle, as well as a further £3million for its X1 express route that serves Easington Lane, Houghton-le-Spring, Washington, Gateshead and Newcastle, with more to follow in other areas very soon.
The region’s first latest generation, zero-emissions, full electric buses are also set to enter service at the end of next month, operating around Newcastle and Gateshead.
Go North East’s commitment to air quality does not end there either. The company wants to stress the importance of using public transport to help reduce congestion and improve the air around us.
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, air pollution monitoring stations in Newcastle belonging to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) showed significant reductions in nitrogen dioxide – a harmful pollution gas – corresponding with the decline in traffic volumes on the region’s roads, all whilst most bus services continued to operate. This demonstrated the immediate benefit to air quality, a 46% decrease in nitrogen oxides, that can result from fewer car journeys being made on our roads.
Commenting on the company’s recent investments and air quality improvements, Go North East’s managing director, Martijn Gilbert, said: “We’re delighted to introduce these high-specification buses across the region, helping revolutionise bus travel for the people of the North East, making them an even more viable alternative to many car journeys.
“We’re excited to welcome the region’s first latest generation, zero-emissions, full electric buses next month, and if we’re serious about improving air quality, public transport needs to be better supported and fully embraced by more people.
“We’ve put considerable efforts into ensuring our services are clean and safe, with extra sanitisation measures and additional capacity deployed to move customers safely. This also follows recent initiatives to reduce many fares and provide more flexible ticketing such as our new ‘Flexi 5’ tickets which allows 5 days of travel to be purchased at discounted weekly ticket prices but used individually any time over a month, reflecting the growth in part time and shared home-office working patterns.
“The data from DEFRA shows the substantial impact traffic congestion can cause, so even if you can change your lifestyle slightly by catching the bus just once a month it can make a significant difference to the North East’s air quality.”
To find out more about Go North East, visit www.gonortheast.co.uk.