Newcastle Clean Air Zone: services which need to be upgraded

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(11 Jan 2022, 1:27 pm)Adrian Wrote: I think you're right that it makes a mockery of a CAZ scheme, when it results in neighbouring Towns and Cities suffer as a result, but Councils are largely very parochial by nature and quite frankly won't care less. One of the biggest reasons that the North East devolution has never really progressed.

And whilst some places have ended up with big downgrades and a lesser service for customers there, I do think at the same time it should be recognised the substantial investment that has gone into preparation for the Newcastle CAZ. Walkergate and Slatyford have had 47x E400MMCs and 18x E200MMCs between them. Then there's the original 19x Streetdecks for the Angel, 20x Streetdecks across the X1/X45/X46, 18x E400MMCs and and 11x E200MMCs that Go North East have brought into service.

The ideal would be to regulate against the use of older buses in service work, but in reality it's going to be a problem that solves itself in the next couple of years, as some of these older buses are already on their last legs.

Yeah, I guess it's more of that lacking in joined up thinking I suppose. However of course I also appreciate the comment Rob44 made that you can't upgrade or replace every bus everywhere all at the same time. And I completely agree, GNE and SNE should be commended for the amount of investment in recent years in preparation for the CAZ. And while Arriva don't get any credit for new vehicles, I will give them credit for not swapping out the Streetlites at Darlington, as it was highly rumoured that would end up happening.

You make a good point about older vehicles are on their last legs, and to a certain extent, I can't blame the operators for moving the vehicles around to somewhere without a CAZ, because there's little incentive in upgrading them when they have a couple years left in service. Let's say Sunderland do end up implementing a CAZ in the next couple years, by that time the Citaro's and Versa's will be life-expired and withdrawn anyway. I think the key point there is that it is life expired vehicles being moved. If either operator had moved about 15 or 16 plate Euro 5 vehicles that still had another 8 or 9 years in them that would likely need exhaust emissions in the future anyway, (so were avoiding upgrading them now for the sake of it) that would be different. As it is, hopefully it will only be a short-term downgrade in these areas before the vehicles are replaced with new(er) ones in the not too distant future. So on the whole, I can appreciate that surrounding areas are only likely to lose out in the short-term. But regardless, it's still not a good thing that air quality is potentially being made worse in some areas at the expense of others for any time period. So while the CAZ might be a huge success in improving air quality in Newcastle itself, looking at it holistically, it'll only be successful when those vehicles are eventually removed from service in the surrounding areas.