Councilors had ‘no choice’ to approve a £1.3m bus deal

Councilors had ‘no choice’ but to approve a bus deal worth over £1.3m despite the vehicles being less environmentally friendly than they would have been wish.

Stirling Council’s environment and housing committee had to decide on the Park and Ride contract last week, just four days before it expires.

Only one bid was submitted – the least environmentally friendly of the vehicle options being the only one within budget and therefore submitted to committee members.

The contract – which had a budget allocation of up to £1,365,000 – came into effect on Monday February 14, but was not presented to the committee until Thursday. last week. He will run until February 16, 2025 on an 18-month contract with three optional six-month extensions.

Stirling Council operate two Park and Ride services on the outskirts of the town center at Castleview and Springkerse.

The P1 bus service operates from Springkerse and the P2 operates from Castleview.

They are seen as a major part of the local transport strategy and climate and nature emergency plan to reduce the number of cars driving through the city centre, thereby reducing traffic congestion and emissions.

The committee was informed that suppliers were invited to tender for three lots for different types of vehicles: lot 1 electric/hydrogen; Batch 2 – 6 euros; Batch 3 – 5 euros.

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The Euro 6 standard imposes a further significant reduction in NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions from diesel engines (a 67% reduction compared to Euro 5) and establishes similar standards for petrol and diesel.

Bids were only received for Lots 2 and 3, with Lot 3 – the least green of the three options – being the only bid within budget.

Conservative councilor Martin Earl said it was particularly concerning given that members had talked about the council’s Alive With Nature program and the council had adopted its own climate emergency plans.

He added: ‘I don’t blame the officers because they only got one bid under budget. It was the least ecological classification but they have no choice.

Green Councilor Alasdair Tollemache said: ‘I am unhappy with the delay and the time given to councilors to comment on this.

Infrastructure and environment operations manager Brian Roberts said there had since been a recent change in the procurement process, suggesting there would be opportunities to get involved at a more stage. early in the future.

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