UK’s first air-cleaning bus launches
Diesel-powered prototype will filter polluted air as it drives around Southampton
The UK’s first air-filtering bus has been launched as part of a nationwide campaign to combat harmful pollution.
Unveiled in the southern coastal city of Southampton today, the “Bluestar” bus features a filtration system installed on the roof that will filter and clean the air as the vehicle drives along its route, The Guardian reports. The bus is being pioneered by Go-Ahead, one of Britain’s largest public transport operators.
The firm’s chief executive, David Brown, said that if the trial is successful, the idea could be rolled out to Go Ahead’s entire fleet of more than 5,000 buses up and down the country.
“We are going a step further in the potential for our buses to actively clean the environment,” he added. “It’s a huge development in our environmental leadership and we are also proud to be pioneering the prototype in the UK.”
The success of the scheme will be measured by weighing the filter on the bus before and after the completion of the trial, to see how many particles of pollution have been trapped, the BBC reports.
The filter’s manufacturer, Pall Aerospace, said the device is designed to remove 99.5% of particles, the news site adds.
Southampton was chosen for the trial after a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report showed that the city had reached its limit of unsafe air pollution.
It is one of five UK cities tasked by the Government with drawing up air pollution plans aimed at raising air quality by 2020.
Alongside the Bluestar scheme, Southampton is also considering a pollution tariff that would see older lorries, buses and coaches charged £100 a day to enter the city perimeter from 2019.