Nottingham will become home to the UK’s first all-electric Park & Ride bus service when 13 new vehicles boost the city’s electric bus fleet to 58.
Funding for the buses comes from a £1.4m grant from the Department for Transport Green Bus Fund with an additional £2.1m raised from the City Council’s Workplace Parking Levy.
The buses will use electricity sustainably generated from local waste incineration and PV panels to run and also for their heating.
The City Council placed the order with Chinese manufacturer BYD and the buses will start operation in 2016. These will be used on Park & Ride services to and from the city centre from the Queens Drive and Racecourse Park & Ride sites. They will complement the other 45 electric buses already used on the Medilink services to the city’s hospitals and many Locallink bus services.
The City Council is working in partnership across Greater Nottingham to encourage all types of transport – buses, taxis, trams, bicycles and cars – to move onto a sustainable energy platform. The City Council has recently been short-listed to compete for a share of a £35m Government funds available to develop ambitious and innovative transport plans.
Andy Gibbons, Head of Nottingham City Council’s Public Transport team said: “The electric buses already operating in the city help to reduce noise and improve air quality. We are committed to providing sustainable transport solutions and more electric buses will reduce operating costs and deliver environmental and health benefits when compared to operating traditional diesel powered buses.”
The Linkbus service is already the largest electric bus fleet in Europe, saving the City Council around £18,000 in fuel costs each year when compared to standard diesel buses. The vehicles produce zero emissions, apart from their diesel-powered heaters. The total fleet costs £14million, with around half being funded through the Workplace Parking Levy, matched with Green Bus Fund rounds and additional contributions from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund and the Local Transport Plan.