Belle Vue Manchester has commenced exhaust retrofit work to achieve Euro VI compliance on 22 members of its fleet ahead of the introduction of the city region’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which is scheduled for 30 May 2022.
It was the first operator to both apply to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) for grants towards vehicle upgrades, and to be offered funding ahead of the CAZ.
21 double-decker buses and one Mercedes-Benz Tourismo coach will be treated by Eminox as part of the work at a total cost of £350,000.
Belle Vue is the largest education transport provider in Greater Manchester. It carries 2m passengers across its wider operation per year. Managing Director Phil Hitchen describes the upgrade work as “an important undertaking for our business,” and adds that compliance with Euro VI sits alongside driver monitoring to minimise fuel consumption and reduce emissions as part of its environmental work.
“Our company is committed to providing passenger transport services that are safer, cleaner and greener and in line with local government strategy.”
TfGM funding towards Euro VI retrofit work forms part of a Clean Air Plan for Greater Manchester. Over £120m of government money has been secured to assist with the upgrade of affected vehicles to comply with the CAZ.
Says TfGM Head of Logistics and Environment Megan Black: “We are delighted that operators like Belle Vue are taking advantage of the funding to retrofit their fleets to ensure that their vehicles are compliant with CAZ requirements.
“Our Clean Air GM website has an indicative vehicle checker tool and we are encouraging people to find out more information about the time, money and options that they have to upgrade.”
The CAZ will follow the administrative boundary of Greater Manchester as closely as possible, TfGM says. However, most of the strategic road network managed by Highways England in the region – including motorways and trunk roads – will not form part of the CAZ, with a handful of exceptions.