That’s among the findings of a new report from the LowCVP, called The Journey of the Green Bus, which is being launched today (11 February) at the UK Bus Summit, in London.
The report chronicles the progress of greener, cleaner buses in the UK and says they are playing an increasingly important part in cutting carbon emissions from the road transport sector.
Older technology buses typically contributed up to two-thirds of NOx emissions in the most densely trafficked areas.
From its inception in 2002, the LowCVP was tasked with bringing low-carbon buses to the UK market. It developed the criteria for the Low Carbon Emission Bus (LCEB) for the Department for Transport, which led to £90m of funding through the Green Bus Fund.
There are now 3,500 buses in service that meet this LCEB criteria. And, adds the report, more than a quarter of buses sold last year were LCEB and more than half of 2015 bus registrations met the Euro 6 standard.
LowCVP’s subsequent Low Emission Bus (LEB) criteria led to the Low Emission Bus Grant – a £30m funding programme, running from 2016-2019.
A low-emission bus is defined as one that achieves a reduction of more than 15% well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions compared with a Euro 5 diesel bus, as well as the Euro 6 standard for pollutant emissions.
The report says “clear and demonstrable air quality and carbon benefits” are now coming from technologies such as hybrid solutions, battery electric buses and fuel solutions such as hydrogen fuel cells and biomethane.
LowCVP managing director Andy Eastlake says: “There’s no doubt that an effective bus operation can deliver one of the best solutions to the mobility challenges of air quality, climate change, congestion, convenience and, of course, cost.
“The Journey of the Green Bus chronicles how the last 20 years have transformed the emissions, efficiency and experience of buses. It will, hopefully, help to dispel some of the outdated perceptions of this essential travel option.”