Local authorities can now apply to become UK’s first all-electric bus town
Posted: 6 February 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The town selected will be used as a model to help deliver the government’s ambition for all buses to be fully electric by 2025.
UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced that applications for local authorities to become the UK’s first all-electric bus town have now opened. The winning area will receive up to £50 million to help pay for a brand-new fleet of electric buses, which aims to reduce emissions and clean up the air in their community.
The £50 million fund is part of a total £170 million allocated to improve services and make bus journeys greener, easier and more reliable. This commitment is said to mark the next step in delivering the Department for Transport’s (DfT) £220 million package to overhaul bus services across England and level up transport infrastructure.
A town with 200 electric buses could save around 7,400 tonnes of CO2 each year – the equivalent to taking 3,700 diesel cars off the road
Shapps said: “Buses carry more people than any other form of public transport in the UK, and with 200 electric buses able to offset 3,700 diesel cars, it is clear they have a crucial role to play in bringing down emissions.
“But Britain’s first all-electric bus town is just the start. Helping deliver on our manifesto promise, this £170 million package will help us to create communities which are cleaner, easier to get around and more environmentally friendly, speeding up journeys and making them more reliable.
“By focusing on efficient and affordable transport, we will make greener journeys the natural choice.”
The government is also aiming to making it easier and more convenient to take the bus through a new £20 million fund to encourage the development and trial of on-demand ride sharing services in rural and suburban areas – helping people to plan their journeys down to the minute. The fund looks to boost traditional services by helping people use bus travel to get closer to where they live, at a time that is convenient for them.
A further £30 million of extra funding for local authorities in 2020 to 2021 has also been confirmed, to help them improve current bus services or restore those that have been lost. Every local authority in England, outside of London, is eligible for this funding to ensure that crucial bus routes can be revived or reinvigorated.