25th Oct, 2021

Date revealed for when Coventry will become UK's first 'all-electric bus city'

ALL OF the city’s 297 buses will be electric by 2025.

The news comes just a month after it was announced Coventry was to become one of two all-electric bus cities, along with Oxford.

It will be paid for by £50million worth of Government funding and £75million provided by local bus operators.

As well as the new vehicles, the grant will also fund investment in the required infrastructure such as charging points and upgrades to the electric grid.

A business case is currently being put together and is set to be submitted and approved by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) on March 19.

The project will improve air quality, lower greenhouse gas, and reduce the costs of running buses.

The electric buses will also be more comfortable for passengers and it is hoped it will encourage more people to use public transport to get around.

The fleet will start to be rolled out from this April.

The all-electric bus town bid was secured by Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the WMCA.

A report will be discussed by councillors next week.

Coun Jim O’Boyle, the council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, said: “This is great for Coventry and will make a major dent in addressing air pollution.

“We already have a range of schemes to improve air quality and this will help exceed our targets.”

He added ‘innovation was part of the city’s DNA’ and this was even more evidence of Coventry embracing and applying new technologies.

“We already have excellent partnership working with bus companies like National Express Coventry and together we have been striving to make our public transport network better, greener and cleaner.

“Our approach is about making a long-lasting impact on those that live and work here, and visit the city.

“That’s exactly what an all-electric bus fleet will help deliver.”

David Bradford, National Express Coventry’s managing director, said: “The easiest and the cheapest way we can clean up our air and fight climate change is to hop on a bus.

“We already have a comprehensive network of bus services across Coventry and we’ve frozen fares again this year, ensuring bus travel continues to be affordable and accessible for all.

“We all have a part to play in making cleaner, greener choices, so it’s worth remembering that a double decker bus can take up to 75 cars off the road.

“By choosing public transport we can reduce the level of traffic on our roads, which in turn makes journeys quicker, and the air cleaner for everybody’s lungs.”

Last year National Express announced every new bus bought would be a zero emissions vehicle and launched 10 fully electric buses in Coventry at the end of the summer.

“We’re looking forward to bringing hundreds more zero emission buses to the city of Coventry, complementing other measures being delivered through the Bus Alliance to drive even more improvements for new and existing bus customers.”

Coventry has one of the largest networks of electric vehicle charge points in any city outside London, and the bus investment will complement other schemes that feature and promote electric vehicle use in Coventry, including the council’s own fleet of electric vehicles and promoting electric taxis.

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