Britain Will Soon Have Its First All-Electric Bus Town

Local authorities have been invited to compete to become the nation’s first all-electric bus town. The winner will receive £50 million to pay for a fleet of zero-emission buses…

Going All-Electric 

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced a plan to create the nation’s first all-electric bus town. Local authorities will be able to bid for £50 million in funding to transform their fleet with zero-emission vehicles. This is part of a broader government plan to render all buses electric by 2025. It hopes the winning town will serve as a model for other towns and cities across the country. Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, said buses had “a crucial role to play in bringing down emissions”. Meanwhile, Darren Shirley, head of the Campaign for Better Transport, said the plan represented “a good start” after years of cuts to public transport.

Additional Funding 

In addition to the £50 million fund up for grabs, the government has announced a number of initiatives for buses. It’s pledged £70 million towards creating a series of high-frequency “superbus” networks. These involve reduced fares, more bus lanes and more frequent services. One is already in place in Cornwall and has been met with approval following a successful trial.

A further £20 million will also be dedicated to trials of on-demand buses. These can be ordered via an app. These are mainly intended for rural communities and locations where a fixed route can’t be justified. A similar service is already available in Liverpool and Oxford. This scheme is run by Arriva and allows app-users to select the pick-up location and the destination. But there are doubts that such schemes will ever prove profitable. The Oxford Bus Company has operated a similar service since June 2018 and 250,000 journeys have been taken. In a statement the company said, “it is still challenging to operate on a fully commercial basis”.

Tackling Emissions 

At the heart of the government’s plans is the objective to substantially cut carbon emissions; the country is planning on becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Recently, Boris Johnson announced that plans to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles would be brought forward to 2035 from 2040. In addition, hybrids would fall under the ban.

But public transport can also be exceptionally polluting. As 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”. He added, “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.”

A 2019 study discovered that 3,000 local bus routes had been lost or reduced over the last decade. Darren Shirley, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, welcomed the government’s plans. He said,” for years, we’ve seen services cut and reduced, with commuters unable to get to work or to see their families”. He continued, “to reinstate some bus services and introduce zero emissions buses for one town is a good start for this government”.

Your Bus Could Be Zero Emission As Soon As 2025 –

Drive An Electric Car? You Can Charge For Free At Tesco –

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