For a number of local authorities, the UK plan for tackling roadside NO2 concentrations presents a significant challenge, requiring them to improve poor air quality as quickly as possible.
Whilst the latest ultra-clean Euro VI buses and advanced electrified options comfortably meet clean emission requirements, a significant majority of the older, existing bus fleet are seen as being a significant source of pollution and need a rapid and cost-effective solution.
The Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) is developed jointly by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) and the Energy Saving Trust (EST) together with industry stakeholders through funding and support from the DEFRA/DfT Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU).
By providing a single standard for any emission technology to be validated to meet the standards set out in the government’s Clean Air Zone Framework for England, the scheme will enable the existing fleet of urban vehicles, initially buses, but extending rapidly to a wide range of vehicles, to be fitted with proven emission control solutions. The scheme will provide the backbone of future retrofit funding, enabling the UK market to lead this important sector.
Larger vehicles (buses, vans and HGVs) contribute over half of UK national average roadside concentration of nitrogen dioxide according to Defra’s AQ analysis. [Next year the Government will publish a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy which will address other sources of air pollution.]
The Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme will provide independent evidence that a vehicle retrofit technology will deliver the expected emissions reductions and air quality benefits in real world operation.
Last week’s suggest that the most polluting motorways might be covered in emissions absorbing tunnels has drawn criticism from the RAC.
RAC roads policy spokesman Nick Lyes said, “We question whether constructing tunnel-like canopies, even if they are made from a material that can clean the air, is the right way to deal with the problem.
All this will do is concentrate potentially toxic air over the road which will have an impact on those inside their vehicles who breathe in the trapped pollution.
“The solution should be about reducing levels of pollution by accelerating the transition to ultra-low and zero emission vehicles and encouraging better traffic flow through variable speed limits – something Highways England has started doing on smart motorways.”