Sheffield City Council has brought forward their plans to replace the most polluting diesels in their fleet used for special educational needs transport.
The six-year, £21 million project, entering into its third year, includes replacing Sheffield’s old, polluting minibuses with electric and cleaner fossil fuel vehicles to improve air quality.
Nitrogen Dioxide, one of the main pollutants from the old vehicles, has been linked to strokes and heart disease, and prolonged exposure to this air pollution has been seen to damage children’s lungs.
Councillor Terry Fox, deputy leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “Where we can, we are upgrading to electric vehicles, but the technology isn’t suitable yet for our accessible special educational needs vehicles.”
The fleets have been used throughout the pandemic to transport 800 children with special educational needs to school, as well as taking people to their GP to get their vaccinations, delivering school meals to self-isolating children and assisting local NHS workers.
Over the first two years of the programme, more than 350 of the most environmentally dangerous vehicles have been replaced with significant reductions in carbon and nitrogen dioxide.
Councillor Julie Grocutt, Cabinet Member for Transport and Development, said: “These changes demonstrate our commitment to a cleaner, greener future for Sheffield.”
“By the end of the project, around 1,100 vehicles will have been replaced with electric, ultra-low emissions or the cleanest standard of diesel.”