Bus operator Go-Ahead has unveiled the first fully electric electric bus fleet in the north east.
The firm made the announcement as it backed the government’s net-zero plans with a fleet of electric buses providing 55,000 journeys a year to 2 million passengers across the region.
The nine new electric buses have come into service from November 27 and will cover 300,000 miles across Newcastle and Gateshead each year.
The company has a net-zero fleet commitment by 2035 and is also launching other technologies such as air filtering buses in Southampton, which suck particulate matter from the air. It has also introduced 50 buses in Brighton which switch to zero emissions in the city’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone.
The firm is also considering the biggest order of hydrogen buses in Europe for operations across the Crawley and Gatwick area.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “As we look to decarbonise transport while levelling up local economies across the North-East, I’m delighted to see key industry partners actively supporting our ambitions to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050.
“Just last week the Prime Minister reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to invest £5 billion in buses, cycling and walking. And that’s not all – we’re also investing £120 million to begin the introduction of at least 4,000 zero emission buses, accelerating the decarbonisation of the bus fleet, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality for all.”
David Brown, Go-Ahead chief executive, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has put an incredible strain on the country, the economy and public transport but tackling climate change remains as important as ever.
“The bus will be vital to getting Britain back on its feet, to bringing down emissions and tackling air pollution, which many experts believe has contributed to the severity of the virus we face.”
“Our investment in electric buses in the North East of England and our wider work in decarbonising our fleet signals our commitment to working with the Government to deliver their pledge to decarbonise transport and clean up the air that we breathe.”