National Express’ new Perry Barr depot opens
National Express West Midlands is continuing its journey to net zero by 2030 with the opening of its new depot in Perry Barr, Birmingham.
Full operations have now begun at its new, environmentally-sustainable bus and maintenance garage. After making their last departure from the current 90-year-old depot on the morning of Saturday 10 December, the fleet of 170 buses are now being housed at the new site. The 6.5acre site is providing a base for over 450 drivers, engineers and back office workers and includes a cafe, rest areas, a separate quiet space, shower facilities and dedicated training rooms; as well as a whole host of energy efficient measures and the capacity to house a full fleet of electric buses and their chargers.
“Through evolving our garage and operations we’ll use less energy, be even safer, have more efficient ways of working, and are better equipped to train and look after our people” – David Bradford, Managing Director of National Express West Midlands
David Bradford, Managing Director of National Express West Midlands, said: “From the very start of the project, we wanted to create a site that offered our people a high quality working environment but to also ensure a low environmental impact in both the build and future operations.”
The new Perry Barr garage will include:
- Parking spaces for over 170 buses
- 12 maintenance bays, 3 fuel bays, three Wilcomatic bus washes and 1 chassis wash
- 150 solar panels
- Heating via a hybrid system including Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP), electric overhead radiant panels and Variable Refrigerant Flow, supplemented with solar panels – meaning there is no need for gas onsite.
- A 432m2 green roof with a 22 species planting mix on an ultra-light sedum. By next summer, there will be up to 90% coverage helping improve air quality and habitats for wildlife
- A green wall on acoustic panelling to help improve air quality whilst reducing noise pollution. A wild flower garden has also been planted behind the acoustic panelling to improve habitats for wildlife.
- A self-contained water recycling system for the bus washes
- Rainwater harvesting for toilets and urinals
- Two snooker tables and one fish tank
David added: “By being able to design something from scratch, we’ve transformed how we work from top to bottom. Through evolving our garage and operations we’ll use less energy, be even safer, have more efficient ways of working, and are better equipped to train and look after our people – while providing great value transport for the people of the West Midlands.
“Working in public transport is a fantastic career and we are actively recruiting both drivers and engineers to join us at our new Perry Barr garage. We’ve recently increased pay rates and improved flexibility with part time work, four-day weeks, and shorter week options. Full training is provided so I’d encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch.”
The new garage is part of the wider regeneration of the Perry Barr area by Birmingham City Council.
BAM has been the principal contractor for the design and construction of the project.