Phone charging points to be installed on Capital buses

Mobile charging points are to be installed on buses. Picture; Jon Savage

Mobile charging points are to be installed on buses. Picture; Jon Savage

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Passengers in the Capital will be able to charge their mobile phones on Lothian Buses for the first time after a new fleet of environmentally friendly double-deckers was rolled out.

The bus company has splashed out £6 million on 25 new vehicles for the popular number 22 route – which runs through two areas where the air quality is currently under review.

The custom-built buses – Euro 6 Volvo double deckers – will reduce CO2 emissions by 30 per cent, nitrous oxides by up to 98 per cent and particulates by around 80 per cent, compared with the existing fleet.

One big selling point for the six million passengers who travel on the route each year will be the USB charging points, while they will be able to sit in comfort in high-back seats.

Currently, only the Airlink buses have mobile phone charging facilities.

Lothian bosses have also promised “increased glazing for visibility”.

Route 22 is Edinburgh’s most-used bus service for commuters and shoppers – connecting Ocean Terminal with the Gyle centre.

Lothian Buses – which unveiled the new fleet on Lothian Road yesterday – said that by the end of this year, 66 per cent of its fleet, or 471 buses, would meet strict European emission standards.

Bosses said they were committed to being environmentally friendly and said the company would have removed 900 tonnes of CO2 from its annual carbon footprint within the next few weeks.

Richard Hall, managing director at Lothian Buses, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming these highly advanced vehicles to help improve the local environment and our customers’ journeys.

“Whilst they are brilliant news for our passengers and drivers who will benefit from the interior and exterior enhancements, they will also make a tangible difference to air quality along the 22 route, benefiting everyone who lives, works or travels in the city.”

The bus company said it had invested more than £44m in environmentally friendly vehicles over the past five years.

Last month, it won the award for Transport at the 2016 VIBES (Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland).

newsen@edinburghnews.com

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