Oxford’s streets to go green with Go-Ahead’s new all-electric buses

Posted: 13 February 2023 | | No comments yet

Marking its largest electric bus order to date, the 104 new electric buses will accelerate Go-Ahead’s green transition, taking it one step closer to achieving its goal of a zero-emission fleet by 2035.

Oxford's streets to go green with Go-Ahead's new all-electric buses

Credit: The Go-Ahead Group

Passengers in Oxford will benefit from a brand new fleet of zero-emission buses on the city’s streets in late 2023, following an order placed by The Go-Ahead Group for 104 electric vehicles.

The deal is Go-Ahead’s biggest electric bus order to date, adding to the group’s 350 fleet of plug-in buses across Britain, and is a further step towards a goal of a zero-emission fleet nationwide by 2035.

The order will comprise of five single and 99 double-decker buses, to be manufactured in Northern Ireland by Wrightbus, and all vehicles will be fitted with free customer Wi-Fi, USB chargers and audio-visual next stop announcement systems as standard.

In total, eight of the double-decker buses will be open-topped, to support the company’s popular City Sightseeing tour route. Once all buses are in service, all local bus routes wholly within the Oxford urban area will be converted to zero-emission operation.

Go-Ahead is investing more than £30 million in the buses, alongside funding from Oxfordshire County Council and from the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme. This is part of a total package of £82.5 million of funding for 159 buses for operators in Oxford.

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Passengers will also benefit from quicker journeys with the installation of several new traffic filters in the city, an expanded zero-emission zone and through additional bus priority schemes implemented by Oxfordshire County Council.

The buses will save an estimated 6,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year – the equivalent of taking more than 3,900 cars off the road.

Luke Marion, Managing Director of the Oxford Bus Company, said: “This is a fantastic day for bus passengers in Oxford. We’re proud to be ordering a fleet of state-of-the-art, UK-made electric buses which will be cleaner and healthier for local residents, and offer a quieter, more comfortable ride for customers.”

The mobilisation of these new buses will see Oxford Bus Company become the second largest bus operator of zero-emission buses within the Go-Ahead Group, behind Go-Ahead London. Once on the road in late 2023, it will bring the total number of zero-emission buses within the group to 456.

Christian Schreyer, Group Chief Executive of The Go-Ahead Group, said: “This is a step towards our goal of a zero-emission bus fleet nationwide by 2035. It’s important to remember that decarbonising vehicles is only part of the challenge – we also need to encourage more people out of their cars and onto public transport.”