We have proudly joined pollution-busting plans for Coventry to become the UK’s first all-electric bus city, which were backed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) leaders today.
Under the ground-breaking project, every bus in Coventry (ours & other operators) will be electric powered by 2025, leading to improved air quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and lower running costs.
Approval from the WMCA Board means that £50 million Department for Transport (DfT) funding will now be handed to the Coventry region to deliver the project.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the WMCA, will work closely with ourselves and other bus operators to replace buses and install charging infrastructure on the streets of Coventry. This includes pantograph, or overhead, charging points which will be available to all bus operators.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who chairs the WMCA, said: “It took a lot of lobbying and persuading, but I am delighted we won the Government’s national competition to turn Coventry’s bus fleet all electric.
“It was great to welcome the Prime Minister to Coventry this week to talk about our all-electric plans, and crucially today’s confirmation by the WMCA board now unlocks his Government’s £50 million investment, meaning we can get on with rolling out the clean, green, electric buses onto the city’s roads.
“Not only will the clean bus fleet improve the public transport offering in Coventry, but it is also another step towards tackling the climate emergency and helping to attract people to leave their cars at home in favour of taking the bus.
“This is a great time for bus users in Coventry, with our newly refurbished Pool Meadow bus station, the trial of West Midlands On Demand buses serving the University of Warwick campus, as well our wider investment in fare-capping and better value fares, bus priority measures, real-time travel information and onboard facilities like wi-fi and USB charging.
“It is a bus revolution here in the West Midlands, and Coventry is right at the heart of it.”
Transport Minister, Baroness Vere, said: “Our £50m investment will see Coventry’s entire fleet of buses replaced with new, all-electric vehicles. This will have a profoundly positive effect on air quality and emissions in the area and reduce noise pollution.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council, said: “We have finally got this over the line after we were able to convince the government that this city is the ideal location and this will make a major dent in addressing air pollution.
“We have great working relations with bus companies in the city and these are exciting times for all of us. The hard work starts now.”
David Bradford, Our Managing Director said:
“The easiest and the cheapest way we can clean up our air and fight climate change is to hop on a bus. We already have a comprehensive network of bus services across Coventry and we froze fares again this year, ensuring bus travel continues to be affordable and accessible for all.
“We all have a part to play in making cleaner, greener choices, so it’s worth remembering that a double decker bus can take up to 75 cars off the road. By choosing public transport we can reduce the level of traffic on our roads, which in turn makes journeys quicker, and the air cleaner for everybody’s lungs.
“Early last year we announced our ambition to have a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2030, followed by the launch of 29 fully electric buses in the West Midlands - 10 of which are in Coventry and were shown to the Prime Minister during his visit earlier this week.
“We’re looking forward to bringing hundreds more electric buses to the city of Coventry, which will complement other measures being delivered through the Bus Alliance to drive even more improvements for new and existing bus customers.”
TfWM will lead the project in partnership with Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and us and other local bus operators – who are together paying 25% of the added costs of electric vehicles over diesel and charging infrastructure.
This is a major project for ourselves and other bus operators across Coventry, and attracts significant investment to replace every bus in the fleet within five years which will help us launch more electric buses and add to the fleet of 10 electric buses launched e last summer,
The clean air benefits will be felt beyond the city boundary as many services which start or finish in Coventry serve Warwickshire, Solihull, Birmingham, Rugby and Leicester. This will support the #WM2041 target for the region to be net-zero carbon within two decades.
This year TfWM is already on target for buses to be EuroVI compliant low emission vehicles – but this plan sets the region well on the road towards a zero-emission bus fleet.
Published: 19 March 2021
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