On Wednesday, 29 November 2023, Hull City Council will hold two public engagement events in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the region’s two main bus operators, East Yorkshire Buses and Stagecoach.
From 10am-1.30pm, East Yorkshire Buses will be providing a fully electric, zero-emission, single-deck demonstrator Volvo BZL bus at Queen Victoria Square, Hull, and from 2-3.30pm at Hessle Square. No appointment is necessary for residents and local stakeholders to attend.
While buses contribute a small proportion to the overall emissions, transport is now the UK’s largest carbon emitter.
Local authorities will receive up to £129 million from the Government to introduce zero-emission buses.
Councils can bid for funding through ZEBRA2 (zero emission bus regional areas) towards the cost of new, fully accessible electric buses and associated infrastructure, such as charging stations.
There have already been 1,300 zero emission buses funded by the Government in the previous ZEBRA phase across England, and areas that did not receive funding (like Hull and the East Riding) will receive priority over areas that did.
By the end of January 2025, successful bidders must place orders for new buses.
Taking part in a joint bid with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council will replace diesel buses that operate on public routes operated by Stagecoach and East Yorkshire Buses in Hull and East Yorkshire. As a result of this bid, the public would have a fresh perspective on buses and passenger demand would increase significantly.
There are currently no electric or hybrid buses operating on public bus services in Hull or East Yorkshire, so the demonstrator bus will give the public a glimpse into the transition from diesel buses to more environmentally friendly technology in order to meet net zero standards in the future.
Electric buses run on rechargeable batteries that power a motor, and can travel many hundreds of miles on a single charge. In contrast to diesel buses, these vehicles are externally charged after service, usually at a depot via a plug, and in addition to improving air quality, they can also combat climate change. In addition to being quieter, electric buses are also easier to maintain and provide a smoother ride.
Councillor Mark Ieronimo, cabinet portfolio holder for transportation, roads and highways at Hull City Council, said: “We would encourage anyone with an interest in public transport in the city to come along to the public engagement events and find out more about electric buses.
“As well as providing an opportunity to ask questions, these events will help support our funding bid to Government.
“If successful, this ZEBRA funding will potentially help transform bus travel throughout the city.
“Electric buses are greener and cleaner, helping to combat climate change, so we want to engage with the public to get their views to help shape the bid.”
Councillor Paul West, cabinet member for transport and the environment at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “It’s great to be working together with Hull City Council and our region’s two main bus operators on this bid for new zero-emission buses and charging infrastructure.
“If we are successful, the introduction of these vehicles will be a major step-change in clean, green public transport in our region.
“These public engagement events are not just about showcasing the technology; they’re about inviting our residents to be a part of our journey towards more sustainable travel.
“Our goal is to lead by example in reducing carbon emissions and improving the quality of public transport for our communities.”
Ben Gilligan, managing director at East Yorkshire Buses, said: “We’re thrilled to work with our partners at Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Stagecoach to unveil a zero-emission, fully electric bus.
“As we work together to develop our bid to bring zero-emission buses to our region, feedback from local residents will form a key part of our business case to the Government.
“Public transport plays a key role in driving carbon reductions and improving air quality, and this is a big opportunity to address this in our region.”
Matt Cranwell, managing director at Stagecoach, said: “Today we will be showcasing the future of public transport.
“In partnership with Hull City Council, we hope to be successful in our ZEBRA bid for electric vehicles, which will help ensure Stagecoach continues to deliver on its target for a net zero fleet by 2030.
“Stagecoach East Midlands has invested £10m over the past five years in the latest vehicles, and electric vehicles are the next step in reducing emissions for the local communities we serve.”
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