Arriva Group has been successful in its bid for funding from the European Union, having been awarded €5.3 million in conjunction with partner organisations to implement a number of different environmental initiatives across its European businesses. This is part of Arriva’s ambition to help shape a future where passenger transport is considered the best choice.

The funding comes under the banner of the LIFE Programme, which is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. LIFE grants to projects that further the development of European policy in one of four areas: clean energy transition, nature & biodiversity, circular economy & quality of life, and climate change mitigation & adaptation.

The funding will be used to support projects unique in the public transport sector. The three projects are in water saving, air quality, and circularity of materials for infrastructure, and they come from the same funding programme of activity supported by the EU.

Sian Leydon, Arriva Group’s Managing Director for Mainland Europe said: “Arriva is in a unique position to take part in these projects because of our European footprint and the number of vehicles we operate. We were also recognised by the EU for the potential impact we could have across our operations in Europe and by leading other parts of the industry.”

Anita Toni, Arriva Group EU Funding Manager, said: “I’m very proud to have been successful in securing funding for these important initiatives. We were part of a competitive application process, and we’re delighted to have been selected by the EU and recognised for the potential impact we could have across the transport sector.”

This project will, for the first time, define a European best practice for water management for bus transport operators by testing and evaluating three different water-saving solutions in two of Arriva’s European businesses in Italy and Hungary: (1) Wastewater recovery and reuse (2) Wastewater recovery in combination with a rainwater harvesting systems. (3) New innovative exterior waxing materials and techniques that completely eliminate the need to use water in vehicle cleaning processes.

Results will be shared with the industry, including all bus operators in the European public transport sector. This will ensure the most impactful solutions that drive the best results and achieve maximum water saving can be implemented industry-wide, not just at Arriva.

It is estimated that if 50 per cent of the bus transport sector implements the most impactful initiatives over the next five years, approximately 18 billion litres of water could be saved every year. This equates to 7,200 Olympic size swimming pools and a 42 per cent reduction in total water usage within the transport sector.

This project aims to build knowledge and understanding of the emissions caused by public transport vehicles when using their braking systems, which emit non-exhaust microparticles. The project will assess the impact of these particles on people’s quality of life and the environment. A new, innovative braking system developed by Brembo, will be tested on Arriva buses in the cities of Bergamo, Italy and Bratislava in Slovakia to measure emissions and system wear. The project will also set out to reduce emissions at bus stops by identifying improved technologies and examining simple solutions, like smog-eating plants and shrubs that can absorb CO2.

Partners working in collaboration include Arriva Netherlands; Arriva Croatia (Autotrans); experts in vehicle electrification e2H2, and the outdoor designers OFN.

This programme involves four circularity projects, including converting diesel buses to electric, transforming old fishing nets into seat covers, collecting micro rubber from tyres, and building bus stops made of rice husks and oyster shells.

Source: Arriva Group