First Bus investing £89m in 178 zero-emission buses

First Bus is investing £89m in a further 178 zero-emission buses and infrastructure across four of its regions. In partnership with Local Authorities, funding of £16m has been secured through the latest round of the DfT’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme.

The latest investment will also enable four depot sites in Taunton, Weston-super-Mare, Basildon and Hengrove in Bristol, to upgrade their power and infrastructure; futureproofing them to operate a fully electric fleet in the coming years.

This latest news follows the company’s Norwich depot becoming the first depot outside of London to run a zero-emission bus fleet with its two further depots in York and Leicester set to follow suit and roll out their own zero-emission bus networks by the end of the spring.

The completion of all these projects means First Bus will operate more than 800 zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure at 14 depot sites across their UK operation.

At least 18% of its overall UK bus fleet will be zero-emission at the completion of these projects. It is a step towards achieving the company’s pledge to operate a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2035.

Bus breakdown

  • Taunton – 25 buses (13 single-deckers, 12 double-deckers)
  • Basildon – 55 buses (31 single-deckers, 24 double-deckers)
  • Hengrove – 74 buses (7 single-deckers, 67 double-deckers)
  • Weston-Super-Mare – 24 (0 single-deckers, 24 double-deckers)

“We’ve worked tirelessly alongside our Local Authority partners to get to this point and cannot wait to get these vehicles out into service for our customers” – Janette Bell, Managing Director for First Bus

Janette Bell, Managing Director for First Bus, said: “Today marks a significant milestone as we invest further in our journey towards a zero-emission bus fleet across our UK operations. We’re delighted that customers will benefit from government co-funding of these transformative projects. We’ve worked tirelessly alongside our Local Authority partners to get to this point and cannot wait to get these vehicles out into service for our customers.

“It is an exciting time for our colleagues at all four of these sites as we start to transform and futureproof our depots. This is also great news for our customers, who will see the immediate benefits of these state-of-the-art vehicles – including improved air quality and enhanced customer experience.

“As leaders in sustainable mobility, we’ll continue to work closely with central and local Government across the UK to support the delivery of our national decarbonisation commitments in our relentless pursuit to create a nation who loves and uses the bus.”

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