Leeds unveil hybrid electric busses as part of £71m investment

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Leeds unveil hybrid electric busses as part of £71m investment
(L-R) Cllr Eric Firth, Martin Hirst of First West Yorkshire and Leeds City Council executive member Cllr Richard Lewis

Eight new ultra-low emission Hybrid Electric buses are now serving key park and ride sites in Leeds as part of £71 million investment from First Leeds.

The introduction of these ultra-low emission vehicles will deliver significant fuel and C02 improvements along the Elland Road and Temple Green Park & Ride routes.

The new vehicles form part of First Leeds’ commitment to invest in 284 new ultra-low emission buses for Leeds by the end of 2020 as part of Connecting Leeds.

The HEV is the latest development from bus manufacturer WrightBus, which uses a parallel hybrid system that captures braking energy that is then used to help both accelerate the vehicle and to help power its electrical and air systems.

Recent trials showed that the overall system achieves a 34 per cent reduction in Carbon Dioxide emissions compared to an average Euro V engine bus of a similar size.

“Buses are key to tackling congestion and reducing emissions and in fact, a fully-loaded double decker bus can take 75 cars off the road,” said Martin Hirst, Commercial Director at First Leeds.

“Alongside the introduction of new vehicles, we also offer cashless payment options. All First West Yorkshire vehicles now accept contactless payments, which is part of our aim to make paying for bus travel easier.”

Cllr Richard Lewis, Executive Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning at Leeds City Council, said: “Buses are a fundamental and critical element in our plans to become a world class connected city.

“The new fleet of ultra-low emission vehicles will not only contribute to reducing congestion levels, they will also bring about significant improvements in air quality and further support our ambition to be a green city in which to live, work and visit.”

Cllr Eric Firth, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said: “The only way we can solve air quality issues is by working together as the Combined Authority, First and Leeds City Council have done to develop park and ride.”

Mark Nodder, Chairman and CEO of Wrights Group, added: “The StreetDeck HEV employs our newest and cleanest hybrid electric driveline, coupled with a very fuel-efficient Euro VI engine. This adds up to significantly reduced emissions and better air quality for Leeds.”