Bus firm tours Lincolnshire to promote eco-friendly living
The county's biggest bus operator is touring Lincolnshire to give people advice on ways to "go green".
Stagecoach East Midlands is promoting eco-friendly practices a year after launching its fleet of low-carbon buses.
The company has been handing out kits that included advice on how to save water and information on the benefits of using public transport.
The company started two days of promotional activities on Tuesday, May 22, when its Green Team was in Wragby, Horncastle, Skegness,
They then travelled to Lincoln city centre on Wednesday, May 23.
Their kits included bus timetables, devices for reducing the amount of water in toilet flushes and thermometers to make sure energy is not wasted in homes.
Stagecoach said its green buses, which are powered by gas taken from landfill sites, have had a successful 12 months.
The vehicles have a distinctive green paint job and roof-mounted fuel tank.
"They have proved very popular with customers, especially visitors travelling between the city centre and the historic cathedral quarter, with passenger numbers on bio bus routes through this area up by around 10 per cent year on year," said the company's commercial director for the East Midlands Dave Skepper.
"The technology behind the project is experimental and at times it has proved challenging to our engineering team.
"But the resulting reduction in carbon emissions of around 28 tonnes since the project started has been a successful outcome.
"The buses have proved expensive to run in the first year because of the cost of transporting the gas to the depot and we are currently reviewing the project with our partners, Lincolnshire County Council, to determine any future expansion possibilities."
Mr Skepper says bus journeys produce ten times fewer emissions than the same trip by car.
Stagecoach is in the third year of a five-year plan to reduce its carbon footprint.
As a result of eco-friendly measures, which include introducing low-energy lighting in five of its eight depots, Stagecoach says it has made "good progress".
It reduced carbon emissions relative to its national turnover by 5.6 per cent in the two years before April 2011.
This followed a 5.7 per cent carbon efficiency improvement in the three years before April 30 2009.
Lincolnshire County Council worked on the bio-gas bus scheme with the company.
Doug Robinson, sustainability team leader at the authority, said the authority would like to see the project extended.
He explained it had potential benefits for green fuel suppliers in Lincolnshire as well as the environment.
He said: "As a vehicle fuel biomethane has several advantages over diesel – it reduces carbon emissions, pollutants and noise.
"Given the volatility of diesel and oil prices there are also potential future benefits in secure fuel supplies and predictable prices.
"The Stagecoach pilot has provided useful information.
"We are currently looking to take what we have learnt and apply it more widely."
Stagecoach Group announced earlier this year that it had retained the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard for its country-wide actions to reduce emissions.
It now aims to achieve an 8 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from its buildings and a 3 per cent cut from its fleet by April 2014.
This is being supported by an £11 million investment in green improvements.
As part of its annual green promotions, the firm is running a competition to win free travel.
Visit www.greenerbybus.com/competition.aspx for more information.