Sheffield Clean Air Zone: Bus companies confident they will upgrade before charge amid fares concern
The two major bus companies operating in Sheffield have said they are confident that their vehicles will be compliant with the Clean Air Zone before it is introduced.
First Bus and Stagecoach were asked for their views on Sheffield Council’s plan to charge the most polluting buses £50 a day to drive in the city centre from next year.
It comes as passengers raised concern about whether ticket prices would increase as a result.
Nigel Eggleton, managing director at First South Yorkshire, said: “We are continuing to work closely with SYPTE (South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive) and the Department for Transport on several initiatives to improve bus provision across South Yorkshire, and we welcome initiatives that are proposed help improve air quality in the city.
“Our bus fleet is almost compliant now in relation to the criteria being set for the CAZ regulations, and I am confident that by next year, all our buses will be fully compliant meaning that the charges being proposed will not be relevant to our business.”
Stagecoach did not wish to comment but said it had already invested £1 billion in more than 7,000 greener buses over the past decade and all of its vehicles in Sheffield are being upgraded to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Zone.
Sheffield Council’s co-operative executive made the historic decision to introduce a Clean Air Zone in a special meeting at the Town Hall this week.
The charging zone will cover the inner ring road and city centre and it will be enforced using automatic number plate recognition cameras.
Taxis and LGVs that do not meet the emission standard will be charged £10 a day and coaches, buses and HGVs will be charged £50 a day to drive in the zone.
Drivers will need to have Euro 6 diesel or Euro 4 petrol engines to avoid the charge.
Just under £24 million was given to deliver Sheffield and Rotherham’s Clean Air Plans. Of that, £3.5 million was allocated from the implementation fund, which will be used for setting up the charging zone and road schemes, and £20.4 million from the Clean Air Fund, which will be used to help drivers upgrade.
A consultation focussing on this financial support will start in November.