Motorists urged to ditch their cars in Edinburgh

100 cars parked next to one of Lothian Buses new Alexander Dennis Enviro400XLB buses on Sunday (February 3) to give a ‘high impact’ visual comparison of how much physical road space can be created if this number of car owners travelled by bus instead.

The bus operator is publicising its 2020 Vehicle Plan, which began in 2016 and runs to the end of 2020. The strategy sets out the firm’s £78m investment plans and the reasons behind the purchase and disposal of vehicles in order to achieve the Scottish Government’s target of a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Richard Hall, Lothian’s Managing Director said: ‘Lothian is an essential part of the fabric of Edinburgh and Scotland and carries over 350,000 customers every day across our complete operating area.

‘We are continually looking to the future and how we evolve our business model, including how an ‘active’ travel journey which includes walking, cycling and public transport will play a role in the evolution and development of society and the socio-economic change we are now seeing across the world. Add to that the obvious health benefits and it’s a simple solution.

‘Even with buses accounting for less than 5% of the overall road transport emissions, it’s still important that we play our part as a sociably responsible business by doing everything we can to reduce emissions in our city. Our Bus2020 strategy sets out our plans to cut our emissions to reduce our impact on the environment and ensure we meet the Scottish Government’s 42% climate reduction target.’

Nick Page, managing director for Volvo Bus UK and Ireland added: ‘Over the last 20 years there have been significant developments in engine and driveline technologies from Euro 2 through to the latest clean Euro 6 technologies, including those fitted to Lothian’s latest vehicles.

‘Lothian have been with us throughout our journey and have continuously challenged us to deliver products that not only meet but exceed the latest legislative demands.

‘These products have included longer wheelbase double-deck vehicles, hybrid vehicles and a new high capacity double deck vehicle.’

Last week, Friends of the Earth Scotland produced their list of the 10 most polluted roads in Scotland, with Edinburgh’s Queensferry Road the worst for particulate matter pollution.

On New Year’s Eve, Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) came into effect. The first phase of Glasgow’s LEZ will mean 20% of all buses that pass through the city must now meet emissions standards that comply with EU standards.

The Scottish Government has pledged to introduce Low Emission Zones into Scotland’s four biggest cities; Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee between 2018 and 2020.

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