Fares stay same for fuel-saving new buses

A NEW fleet of buses taking to the streets of Hull give passengers a smoother ride and cut fuel costs – but they will not mean lower fares.

The hybrid buses have been commissioned as part of Government plans to reduce carbon emissions.

Bus operator East Yorkshire Motor Services will save £120,000 but the company says that will not translate into lower fares because of large cuts to grants and the rapid increase in the cost of fuel.

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Last week the company announced it was axing several routes, including the Walton Street park and ride.

The 10 buses will serve the number 57 route – the longest in the city – and other routes in the evening and weekends.

Chairman and chief executive Peter Shipp said: “It does seem unfortunate when they are cutting money for concessionary fares and bus operator grants which means service cuts. The savings come nowhere near the size of other issues we are having to deal with.”

Mr Shipp said the company’s 200 drivers were familiarising themselves with the new buses, which have no gears. He said: “They can be a bit jerky when they change down. These are totally smooth, starting up and going to full speed and stopping, and they are also quieter.”

The purchase of the new buses follows a £993,000 grant from the Government’s Green Bus Fund. The grant pays for 88 per cent of the price difference between the standard and new bus.

British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis and BAE Systems have provided the technology behind the new low carbon buses, which have 30 per cent less emissions and which feature an innovative braking system.

Hybrid buses are powered by a mix of an ordinary diesel engine and an electric motor, with the braking system generating electrical energy when the brakes are pressed. This electrical energy is stored and used.