Two of the UK cities Coventry and Oxford are developing proposals to become UKs first part to run electric bus fleet services.
According to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the cities are developing business cases in England to switch the entire town’s bus fleet to electric vehicles.
The Department for Transport (DFT) says each area will be awarded £50 million to replace the entire fleet of buses with all-electric versions and install new infrastructure required to run electric buses.
According to DFT, this change in fleet and greener bus will help in improving the air quality and reduce the emission. This will further contribute in government’s efforts to decarbonise transport network and support local business and jobs in UK.
“As we build back greener from COVID-19, we can provide people with more environmentally-friendly transport and cleaner air,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Coventry and Oxford could soon be at the forefront of our plans for a new era of bus services, helping us develop the green transport network of the future and support jobs right here in the UK,” Grant further added.
DFT in its statement said, it receive 19 bids from England to implement all-electric bus town or city. During the bid, applicants were asked to demonstrate buy-in from stakeholders in their local areas and bring plans to reduce greenhouse gases and improve the air quality.
“This news is brilliant for Coventry and the West Midlands, and I am delighted the Secretary of State and his department have once again put their faith in our region to deliver,” said Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands.
“Turning all of Coventry’s bus fleet electric is not only a major boost to public transport in the city, but it will also help tackle the climate emergency we face both here in the West Midlands and the wider UK.”
Meanwhile Oxfordshire County Council Leader, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said: “Oxfordshire’s bid comes at a time when our council is determined to take concerted climate action to cut vehicle air pollution and expand the provision of bus services with our Zero Emission Zone and Connecting Oxford plans.
“This council is committed to offering our residents a clean and environmentally sustainable future through a series of steps including through better public transport.”
The DFT has mentioned earlier in Feb 2020 that the town that wins the bid would be used as model to ensure all buses are fully electric by 2025. The government last year also had set aside £20m towards trials of on-demand buses, which can be ordered through an app.
Working to bring down emissions
Mr Shapps said, “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.”
“This £170m 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.”