The Truth About Manchester Air Pollution: Buses Are to Blame
Congestion charging (CC) proponents often justify the regressive tax by citing the need to reduce vehicular pollution in city centers. In their campaign to stymie a local CC scheme, Manchester Against Road Tolls (MART) points out that the Manchester City Council's plan singularly fails to tackle the real cause of the city's air pollution: buses. "Buses and indeed any vehicle with a large diesel power unit that repeatedly puts the engine under load – like pulling away from bus stops – emit the two most carcinogenic chemicals known to science, labelled 3-NBA and 1,8-DNP," MART's press release opined. "Buses are also heavy emitters of nitrogen dioxide and general particulates, both of which are respiratory irritants." It does seem odd that Manchester hasn't retired its smoke-belching buses. The city has one of Europe's busiest bus routes (Oxford Road/Wilmslow Road). It was also the first municipalities to introduce the diesel – electric Econo Optare Solo hybrid bus.
Locomotive-style diesel-electric hybrids make so much sense for buses. Keep the diesel running at a constant, efficient rpm and eliminate the constant acceleration cycles from stops. The fuel savings are obvious and demonstrable (see the link in the news item) and it will be a damn site less annoying for any unfortunate souls that live near a stop and have to listen to it.
I'm not a fan of Congestion Charging but that's what they are introducing - not Pollution Charging. A Double Decker holds about 70 commuters so thats a few dozen cars off the road anyway. What's their point again?