Go-Ahead to deploy Air-Cleaning Buses across the UK

  • Transport operator Go-Ahead accelerates shift to cleaner technology by rolling-out its Air Filtering Bus into six more regions
  • The bus, launched in Southampton last year, has fans on the roof which suck pollutant particles into special filters
  • Go-Ahead ready to share the innovative technology with other local authorities in battle to tackle pollution and air quality

24 January – The Go-Ahead Group is rolling out its unique ‘Air Filtering Bus’ nationwide to help tackle pollution in our biggest towns and cities.

The Air Filtering Buses will be deployed in six more regions as the group accelerates plans to have the greenest fleet of buses in the country. 

The single-decker buses – which strip pollutant particles from the air as they drive - will be deployed in Brighton, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, Plymouth and Crawley/Gatwick. The buses will hit the streets from the early summer.
Each bus is fitted with an air filtering system made up of three fans on the roof that suck ultra-fine particles and dirt (known as PM10) into special filters. 

The roll-out follows a successful launch in Southampton last year where initial tests showed that a single bus could remove as much as 65g of pollutants from the air – equivalent to the weight of a tennis ball – in a 100-day period (and cleaned 3.2 million cubic meters of city air).

It comes amid growing concern about the rising levels of pollution and demands for local authorities to do to more to clean up the air we breathe.

Doctors last month (Dec) warned of a public health crisis due to hospitals and GP surgeries being swamped with cases of asthma and bronchitis. 

Go-Ahead is also today confirming that- in addition to rolling the Air Filtering Bus into six more regions it is introducing five more of the vehicles into Southampton by early February, covering an entire city centre route.

David Brown, Go-Ahead chief executive, said:

“We want to play our part in tackling the crisis in urban air quality and show that buses can be integral to cleaning up our cities. Our air-filtering system has exceeded all expectations in how it can benefit the environment, and it builds on our track-record as operator of the UK’s greenest bus fleet.  

“We believe the Air Filtering Bus provides a ‘quick win’ for councils as they explore initiatives such as Clean Air Zones to tackle toxic pollution.”

Health problems associated with outdoor air pollution are linked to 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide, according to the WHO. 

In the UK, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) estimates that particulate air pollution reduces the life expectancy of residents by six months on average . 

And recent research suggested that living in an area with high pollution worsens your memory to the same extent as ageing ten years. 

Professors at the University of Warwick looked at levels of the PM10 pollutant, which comes from exhaust fumes, degrading tyres, vehicle exhausts and domestic wood burners . 

The Air Filtering Buses are designed to clean the air as they drive through a city, removing up to 99.5% per cent of particulate matter which travels through it.
It was initially deployed on one of the low-emission Euro VI buses run by Go-Ahead subsidiary Bluestar in Southampton. 


For more information please contact:

Mark Sands
Mark.Sands@bcw-global.com / 07979 904 401

Steve Hawkes
Steve.hawkes@bcw-global.com / 07980 823 755


Notes to editors

Health problems associated with outdoor air pollution are linked to 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide, according to the WHO. In the UK, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)[2] estimates that particulate air pollution reduces the life expectancy of residents by six months on average.

During the trial, which commenced in September 2018, the filter cleaned 3.2million cubic metres, the equivalent to the volume of 1,288 Olympic swimming pools. The air filter takes in one cubic metre of air per second meaning that in one hour it filters the same volume of air as 6,000 people breathing.


Go-Ahead is one of the leading UK public transport operator companies.  Our purpose is to be the local partner taking care of journeys that enhance the lives and wellbeing of our communities across the world.  Employing around 29,000 people across our businesses, over 1.2 billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our rail and bus services every year. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include governments and local authorities. We are committed to contributing to tackling climate change, improving air quality and reducing social isolation, and aim to run a zero emission bus fleet by 2035.

Go-Ahead is the operator of one of Europe’s largest fleets of electric vehicles, including more than 200 buses. The business last year launched a unique geo-fenced service in Brighton, which switches to zero-emissions while driving through the city’s ULEZ, while also retaining the longer range of a traditional service. And it won an international environmental prize for the £20m re-development of the Waterloo Bus Garage, which saw it create the UK’s first site exclusively for electric buses.


Go-Ahead is one of the UK's largest bus operators. With a fleet of nearly 6,000 buses, we carry over two million passengers every day. We have a strong presence in London, with around 23 per cent market share, where we provide regulated services for Transport for London. Outside London, we principally serve high-density commuter markets, including the North East, Greater Manchester, East Yorkshire, East Anglia, South East and South West England. Internationally, we operate a bus contract in Singapore and two bus contracts in Ireland. 


Certain statements included in this press release contain forward-looking information concerning the Group’s strategy, operations, financial performance or condition, outlook, growth opportunities or circumstances in the sectors or markets in which the Group operates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve uncertainty because they depend of future circumstances, and relate to events, not all of which are within the Group’s control or can be produced by the Group. Although the Group believes that the expectations reflected in such forward–looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Nothing in this press release should be construed as a profit forecast and no part of these results constitutes, or shall be taken to constitute, an invitation or inducement to invest in The Go-Ahead Group plc or any other entity, and must not be relied upon in any way in connection with any investment decision. Except as required by law, the Group undertakes no obligation to update any forward looking statement.