Octet of trees planted to launch new hybrid vehicles
The recent weather’s been far from kind to anyone wishing to venture outdoors, but full marks go to the local community representatives who assembled on the 22 March to plant eight trees on Langdale Road Green. Each tree planted represents five of the 40 electric hybrid buses seen on the 192 service from Piccadilly Gardens to Hazel Grove.
Among the party were Ann Coffey MP (Labour, Stockport), Andrew Stunnell MP (Liberal Democrats, Hazel Grove), the managing director of Stagecoach Manchester Christopher Bowles, and Councillor Dean Fitzpatrick (Labour, Heatons South).
The electric hybrid Enviro400s represent an £11.3 million investment in the 192, the largest ever investment into buses on a single route in Greater Manchester. Fuel consumption on the new vehicles is 30% less than a standard Enviro400. Given that the 40 vehicles will run 1.5 million miles a year – the equivalent for three return journeys to the Moon – this represents a saving of 285,000 litres of diesel over their non-hybrid counterparts.
Further representatives included a local green interest group, Sustainable Living in the Heatons, and Frank McGhee, who represented Alexander Dennis. Their electric hybrid Enviro400s were designed and created with support from BAE Systems.
Following short speeches from Christopher Bowles, Ann Coffey MP and Andrew Stunnell MP, the group dug in and planted the eight trees, which will be enjoyed by local residents passing through Langdale Road Green for years to come.
Christopher Bowles commented: “The tree planting ceremony not only celebrates the commissioning of 40 new hybrid buses for the 192 route, it also highlights Stagecoach Manchester’s commitment to the local community.
“As well as providing excellent service, increased convenience and a greener way of travelling, we also respect the local environment and want to leave a legacy to be enjoyed by future generations – which is symbolically represented by the planting of these eight trees.
“We are proud to be continuing to invest in our fleet and improving our offering for local people. The 192 is one of the busiest services outside London and we hope that the thousands of passengers who use the route each week will welcome the arrival of the environmentally friendly hybrid buses.”
Stockport MP, Ann Coffey, added: “I am delighted to welcome the new hybrid 192 buses. It’s so important that emission levels are kept to the lowest levels on congested transport routes and the new Stagecoach buses achieve this.”
Councillor Kevin Hogg, executive member for the public realm at Stockport Council, said: “We are pleased to be working closely in partnership with Stagecoach Manchester to enable the planting of the trees on Council land.
“The trees will create an improved pedestrian walkway and improve air quality, and is part of our on-going commitment to improve the visual environment in local areas.”
Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester committee, said: “Stagecoach Manchester’s commitment to introducing greener buses on its services is excellent news for passengers and the environment.
“By the summer there will be well over 200 hybrid buses running in Greater Manchester – more than anywhere else in the UK outside London. I’m pleased to see our A6 Quality Partnership with Stagecoach Manchester, Stockport Council and Manchester City Council securing such great results for passengers.”
The new hybrid fleet was purchased with the assistance of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Green Bus Fund, which provided approximately £3.5 million funding to supplement Stagecoach Manchester’s £7.8 million spend.
S.V., 27 March 2013.