January 27 2023

Operators across the North East have invested millions of pounds to retrofit vehicles with low carbon emission technology to improve air quality in Newcastle and Gateshead, but are hitting a brick wall with a lack of support from council officers to complete their applications.

For example, a leading Tyneside bus and coach company has invested nearly £3.5m into a greener more environmentally fleet in an effort to help the region meet its decarbonisation goals. The investment has been made ahead of the introduction of Newcastle’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) which comes into force on Monday.

CPT’s Regional Manager for the North of England Andrew McGuinness said: “We remain committed to working with the City Council to help reach its decarbonisation goals.

“However, we do need far greater co-operation and partnership working from the local authority, which has not been seen in correspondence to help operators access the support available and respond effectively where issues are raised.”

Ian Shipley, Operations Director at JH Coaches, said: “We are a proud local employer with over 90 staff. We help to underpin the city’s economy, provide a crucial service in Newcastle and Gateshead and are proud to keep local communities connected with work and leisure activities.

“We hope to see greater engagement and clarity with the Council and we look forward to working with them more effectively, as the scheme progresses.”

In order to meet the new CAZ regulations, JH Coaches, based at Chester-le-Street and operate all over Tyneside, have purchased 34 replacement vehicles of which 13 will be brand new.