First to get 117 Wrightbuses with £25m government funding
Wrightbus is to build 117 battery electric buses for FirstBus with a £25.3m government funding package announced today (2 March 2023).
The funding is part of the government’s ambitions to roll-out zero-emission buses. It brings total government funding to almost £300 million for up to 1,395 zero-emission buses in England.
The funding is an additional investment from the Zero Emission Buses Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme, which was launched in 2021 to allow local transport authorities to bid for funding for zero-emission buses and supporting infrastructure.
The new buses will be operated in Yorkshire, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Hampshire.
The funding is broken down as follows:
- Norfolk County Council will receive an extra £11.5m to deliver 55 additional zero-emission buses (ZEBs);
- Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council will receive an extra £6.2m to deliver 28 additional ZEBs.
- West Yorkshire Combined Authority will receive an extra £5.7m to deliver 25 additional ZEBs;
- City of York Council will receive an extra £1.9m to deliver nine additional ZEBs.
All these additional buses funded through the ZEBRA scheme are battery electric.
“As leaders in sustainable mobility, we are fully aligned with the Government’s ambitions for a net-zero carbon transport system” – Janette Bell, Managing Director at First Bus
Janette Bell, Managing Director at First Bus, said: “We are delighted to be accelerating investment in the electrification of our bus fleet and infrastructure, supported by co-funding from the Department for Transport.
“As leaders in sustainable mobility, we are fully aligned with the Government’s ambitions for a net-zero carbon transport system. We are rapidly transforming our business with zero emission bus fleets and will continue to work closely with central and local government across the UK to deliver our decarbonisation plans.”
“…these new British-built zero emission buses will support hundreds of high-quality manufacturing jobs in Northern Ireland, grow our economy and help clean up the air in towns and cities across the country” – Roads Minister, Richard Holden
Roads Minister, Richard Holden, said: “Buses are the most popular form of public transport, and these new British-built zero emission buses will support hundreds of high-quality manufacturing jobs in Northern Ireland, grow our economy and help clean up the air in towns and cities across the country.
“We’re providing an additional £25.3 million to roll out 117 new buses to provide residents in Yorkshire, Norfolk, and Portsmouth with better, cleaner and quieter journeys, as we step up a gear to reach net zero faster and level up transport across the country.”
The move is part of the government’s wider £3bn National Bus Strategy to significantly improve bus services, with new priority lanes, lower and simpler fares, more integrated ticketing and higher frequencies.