TransDev 07062023


Bus operator’s move to slash carbon emissions equals taking 1,745 cars off the road every year – with more all-electric vehicles on the way

A switch to a revolutionary high-blend biodiesel fuel is helping Yorkshire bus operator Transdev to cut carbon dioxide emissions by thousands of tonnes – the equivalent of taking 1,745 cars off the roads every year.

Transdev is already a pioneer in electric bus technology, after it became the first operator in Britain to introduce eight ‘opportunity charged’ Harrogate Electrics buses in 2018. At that time, it became the only bus operator in Yorkshire to win funding of £2.25 million from the Government to create Britain’s first Low Emission Bus Town.

The forward-thinking Harrogate-based operator has trialled electric vehicles built in Britain by Alexander Dennis in partnership with Chinese firm BYD on its busy route 1 between Harrogate and Knaresborough, plus alternatives from rival makers Mercedes and Yutong.

The trial results are set to inform the type and specification of 71 fully electric buses to be introduced in a jointly funded programme over the next three years, which will see the operator’s entire fleet based in Harrogate replaced by new zero emission electric vehicles.

The joint funding agreement will also enable Transdev to work with West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) to convert its popular ‘theSHUTTLE’ branded route between Bradford and Keighley to electric operation.

In the meantime, and to deliver environmental benefits more quickly, Transdev has partnered with fuel provider Argent Fuels to switch its entire fleet across 10 operating centres in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester to high blend biodiesel fuel.

Transdev Operations Director Vitto Pizzuti said: “The biodiesel fuel we’re now using across our fleet is a high-blend B15 formation, produced as a solution of 15% biodiesel and 85% low sulphur diesel. In summer, the biodiesel content will rise to 25%, delivering even lower emissions in the communities we serve.

“Completing our switch to this lower emission fuel is helping us to achieve environmental benefits now, and on a commercially viable basis. Biodiesel is 100% biodegradable, less toxic than table salt and is derived from renewable sources.

“At 15% concentration, biodiesel is significantly reducing emissions compared with regular diesel fuel – and without damaging engine components. And the benefits are happening right here and now across all 10 of our operating centres, as we prepare for the keenly-anticipated replacement of our entire Harrogate bus fleet with 71 new fully-electric buses.”

Fuel producer and supplier Argent Fuels predicts that, based on annual fuel consumption of 8.1 million litres and a blend rate prepared to the 15% biodiesel and 85% low sulphur diesel specification, Transdev can expect to cut its emissions by around 3,612 tonnes of CO2 per annum – the equivalent of taking 1,745 cars off the North’s roads every year.

Colin Duke, Head of Sales at Argent, said: “We are excited to embark on this partnership with Transdev to help them accomplish significant carbon reductions across their fleet. Transdev were looking for an immediate solution for their existing diesel fleet whilst they are on the road to electrification, and High Blend Fuel provides exactly that.

“By blending Argent’s sustainable, second-generation biodiesel with regular diesel, we can create a ‘drop in’ replacement fuel that requires no engine modifications, while delivering significant reductions in CO2 emissions.

“As a renewable fuel producer and supplier, our vision is to help reduce the world’s carbon footprint, and so we are thrilled to collaborate with Transdev on this journey.”

In May 2022, Transdev’s bid to the Department for Transport’s Zero Emissions Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) fund, supported by a new partnership between its parent Transdev Group and North Yorkshire Council, was approved.

Together with Transdev’s own £12 million commercial investment, the funding will enable full electrification of its entire Harrogate service bus fleet, plus supporting infrastructure at its Starbeck headquarters, where its diesel fuel tank will be removed and replaced with electric charging points, using power generated cleanly from sustainable sources offshore.

Full details of all Transdev routes and fares across Yorkshire and beyond are available online at: and on its free to download ‘Transdev Go’ mobile app.