Transport Secretary announces the areas that could become the first parts of the UK to run all-electric bus services.
Coventry and Oxford are developing proposals to become the first parts of the UK to run all-electric bus services, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today (6 January 2021).
The cities are developing business cases in an England-wide competition to switch an entire town or city’s bus fleet to electric vehicles.
Subject to successful business cases, each area could be awarded up to £50 million to not only replace its entire fleet of buses with all-electric versions, but to also install new infrastructure, such as charging stations, and pay for electric grid updates.
The change to a cleaner and greener bus fleet will help improve air quality and reduce emissions, helping further deliver on the government’s efforts to decarbonise the transport network, as well as support local businesses and jobs in the UK developing green buses.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
The government received 19 bids from across England to become the first all-electric bus town or city. Applicants were required to:
- demonstrate buy-in from stakeholders in their local areas
- outline existing plans to reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality
- show how the plan would tackle an existing air quality problem.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said:
Oxfordshire County Council Leader, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said:
The government will work with the two local authorities to finalise their business cases over the coming weeks.
The all-electric bus towns and cities competition is part of a wider package of measures to improve services and make bus journeys greener, easier and more reliable.
In February 2020 the government announced £5 billion for a new golden era for buses and active travel. The UK’s first-ever long-term bus strategy will be launched in the coming months to ensure buses are prioritised into the future.