Environment

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The Award will be presented to the scheme which, in the opinion of the judges, constitutes the best contribution by a bus operator, authority, manufacturer or any group or individual within those organisations to one or more of the following:

  • Further improving the environmental friendliness of the bus
  • Improving the environment in which buses operate
  • Improving the environment for bus users and potential users.

For the avoidance of doubt, environmental benefits in the context of this award are defined as:

  • Changes to noise levels
  • Changes to vehicle emissions, either in total or in the chemical content which would be less harmful to either public health or in reducing contributions to global warming
  • Changes to air quality in specific areas (for example, depots, terminals or other places where vehicles and humans interact), including local authority designated Air Quality Management Areas.
  • A reduction in waste products or in the environmental effects of waste products.
  • Improved energy efficiency in either premises or on the road

The 2014 Results

FirstGroup's carbon smart project in actionGold Award Winner

Carbon Smart Project, First UK Bus

FirstGroup's plan to create competition amongst bus manufacturers in vehicle efficiency is coming to fruition through its Carbon Smart project. First's comprehensive fuel economy testing of dozens of buses at Millbrook Proving Ground has triggered significant improvements, most notably Wrightbus' StreetLite Micro Hybrid bus - increasing fuel efficiency by 30%. First has also worked with Volvo and ZF to develop more efficient gear box software which has largely become standard on all new vehicles fitted with ZF transmissions. The judges recognised the initiative as a genuine attempt to measure fuel efficiency to benefit the whole industry; while electric buses are making headway, a substantial diesel-powered fleet will be in service for many more years.

Charging ahead with electric buses in NottinghamSilver Award Winner

Electric Bus Project, Nottingham City Council

Nottingham City Council introduced its Electric Bus Partnership in September 2012 to help reach its target of cutting CO2 levels in 2005 by 26% by 2020 and benefit from cost savings over diesel buses. 28 fully electric buses are now operated by partners trentbarton on Centrelink services and Nottingham Community Transport on Localink, with 22 more due by September 2015 - including a Medilink to key hospitals and a Park & Ride. The vehicles offer 30% C02 reductions while fuel and servicing cost savings of 85% have enabled the Council to maintain its tendered bus network. The judges were impressed by the sustained effort to increase the electric bus fleet in Nottingham, along with ambitious targets.

The headline grabbing scheme in Milton KeynesMilton Keynes Electric Bus Project, Arriva Shires & Essex

Following replacement of seven diesel buses with eight fully electric buses on its route 7 in Milton Keynes, Arriva prides its five-year trial on the innovation and uniqueness of wireless charging. Charging plates set in the road mean vehicles are in service seven days a week, for up to 17 hours a day and are able to rival the independence of diesel buses. Aiming to prove the commercial viability of low carbon transport, the project is expected to reduce particulates and noxious tailpipe emissions by five tonnes each year and CO2 by 270 tonnes. The judges appreciated that a substantial amount of operational experience from the project will benefit the wider industry.

The Luton Dunstable buswayFInalists

Luton Dunstable Busway, Luton Borough Council

Seeking to tackle problems of congestion along the Luton - Dunstable corridor and provide an attractive alternative to the car, Luton Borough Council has transformed the disused Luton-Dunstable railway into a fast-track Busway in partnership with Central Bedfordshire. The councils have worked with English Nature, the Wildlife Trust and local groups to mitigate environmental impacts and the scheme has resulted is 9% modal shift in Dunstable and a 23% increase in cycling, attributed to the shared-use path. The judges agreed that the busway is a very good scheme and looked forward to it delivering its full potential to influence modal shift in a major way in this highly congested area.

The Volvo 7900EH Electric Hybrid busThe Volvo 7900EH Electric Hybrid Bus, Volvo Bus

The Volvo Electric Hybrid Bus has extended hybrid technology by using mains electricity to charge an enlarged battery at the ends of the route and in the depot via a roof-mounted charging system. The effect is to reduce tailpipe, carbon dioxide emissions and noise while the extended electric-only range will enable bus stops to be located inside shopping centres and bus stations. Five projects are being developed across Europe including a proposal in the UK and the trial of three buses in Gothenburg, where diesel consumption has reduced by 80% compared to a conventional bus and overall energy consumption by 60%. With the rise of electric buses on the industry agenda, the judges were impressed by the significant development of the technology.

The greening of schools transport in YorkshireYellow Buses Go Green, West Yorkshire's Combined Authority

The WYCA's Yellow Buses Go Green project has used funding from the DfT's Cleaner Bus Technology Fund to retrofit emission reduction technologies to the exhausts of 119 yellow school bus vehicles to reduce harmful emissions. The project also extends the life of the vehicles through match funding from the WYCA to repair and refurbish vehicles and introduce 'GreenRoad' driver performance management systems on each vehicle. The DfT has acknowledged the project as one of the best performing projects of the fund from its hands-on project management to sharing best practice. The judges were impressed by the use of grant funding to achieve positive outcomes, with a 97% reduction in NOx emissions of 97%.

Who could be nominated?

This category was open to industry suppliers, operators and authorities either separately or in conjunction with one another.

… and by whom?

Nominations were welcomed from all eligible organisations, and self-nomination is acceptable.

Criteria and Entry Requirements

Decisions were based on the quality of the submissions made and the extent to which they address the criteria. Nominations were therefore required to provide information on:

  • The nature of the project(s) and its intended effect on the environmental impact of the bus
  • The extent of technological innovation
  • Where the nomination concerns a new product or service, the extent of its commercial success
  • Deliverability on an industry-wide basis (this would include the practicality and affordability of the idea).
  • Where the nomination concerns a new product, the degree to which the product has proved reliable in everyday service and delivered the benefits intended.
  • The extent to which customer and market research was employed in the development of the product
  • The involvement of other partners in the industry in the development of the project or product.

Products or services entered for consideration did not necessarily have to be exclusive to the bus industry, but entrants needed to demonstrate that their product or service had widespread application within the industry.

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