The City Council is launching the first of a series of free books created to encourage school children, aged from three to six years old, to choose buses as their preferred travel option.
The launch will feature Ellie the Electric Bus and will take place in the Old Market Square between 9am-5pm on March 25th, 2015. You can meet Ellie, sit in the driver’s seat for a photo and get a free ‘Ellie the Electric Bus and the lost puppy’ book. You can also say hello to some of the electric Linkbus Community Transport drivers and hire a Citycard cycle for free.
Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning at Nottingham City Council, said: “Ellie the Electric Bus is a fun way to teach young people that electric buses are a friendly and dependable way of getting about and will build into wider work to get them to think about sustainable transport. In this first story Ellie helps to find a lost puppy but along the way lots of useful snippets of information about our electric bus fleet – Europe’s largest – are shared along the way. More free books will follow, with plots to suit both primary and secondary school pupils. The next one features Kevin the Kangaroo’s and his integrated journey on bus and tram to the Nottingham Beach. We will be stocking the books in all 16 of our City libraries”.
Andy Gibbons, Head of Nottingham City Council’s Public Transport team added: “This is the first time we have published a book. We know that changing people’s behaviour is a long process and we are hoping that Ellie can promote public transport and our green electric network in a way that children understand to show the importance of sustainable transport and the need to use public transport.”
The City Council’s electric Linkbus network comprises of 46 electric buses giving us the largest electric bus fleet in Europe, with a further 13 on order due to be delivered later this year. The buses save around £18k in fuel costs each year when compared to a standard diesel bus, with the additional benefit of zero emissions from the vehicle itself (apart from the diesel-powered heater). The total fleet cost stands at £14million with approximately half being funded through the Workplace Parking Levy matched with various Green Bus Fund rounds with additional contributions from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund and the Local Transport Plan.
Nottingham Community Transport, the City Council’s electric Localink and Medilink operator, will be available on the day to answer questions on the services and about the electric buses themselves. From 1pm to 2pm City library staff will carry out an Ellie ‘tots time’ with pupils from the Bulwell Crabtree Farm primary school, which helped provide feedback on the book while it was being developed.