LEEDS could have a “green” bus system that works around the clock and reduces pollution, provided key stakeholders work together, according to a leading figure in the global bus industry.
Hakan Agnevall, the president of Volvo Buses, made the comments during a trip to Leeds to take part in a roundtable discussion.
The event “Green and Clean; the future of local bus services” brought together representatives from passenger groups, bus operators, local councillors and other sector representatives.
The roundtable discussion, which was chaired by Greg Wright, The Yorkshire Post’s deputy business editor, was organised by Volvo Buses UK and held at the Malmaison in Leeds.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Agnevall said there was real potential for a green bus system in Leeds and West Yorkshire.
He added: “The starting point is to sit down and do a proper feasibility study. It doesn’t need to be tremendously expensive.”
He said the first step was to bring key stakeholders together and look at the state of technology.
“Based on experiences from other cities in Europe, based on what we see in Leeds, I think there is a potential, and also a financially viable potential.”
Investment in “green” bus services can reduce the number of illnesses caused by poor air quality, Mr Agnevall said.
“The second component is with greater mobility, we will bring new opportunities to city planning, with emission-free silent vehicles. That will actually affect real estate values, when we can bring public transport into the shopping malls and into the hospitals..The core is to have public transport that works 24/7 reliably, and is financially feasible.”