Torbay Council with Stagecoach’s support has submitted an Expression of Interest to the government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme to purchase a number of electric buses.
If successful during the initial bid phase, the council will then be invited to develop a business case and subject to consideration of that, battery electric buses may be operating in Torbay within the next 3 years.
Working with Stagecoach on initial feasibility, it is proposed the conversion of Torquay town services (31 and 35 a/c) as well as the 122 open top service between Paignton and Torquay, will be the first routes to benefit from zero emission buses. The bid also proposes additional infrastructure to enable further vehicles and services to become zero emission in the future.
The Council has a long-term Local Transport Plan to reduce carbon emissions, support economic growth, promote accessibility, contribute to better safety, security and health and to improve quality of life and a healthy natural environment. The introduction of electric buses will provide the council with an opportunity to play its part in working towards carbon neutrality and strengthening Torbay’s resilience to a changing climate, meeting many of the community and corporate plan visions.
Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, Torbay Council, said: “We recognise we have a key role to tackle the causes and effects of climate change in Torbay. Buses are one of the greenest forms of transport, a fully loaded double decker bus can take 75 cars off the road, helping to reduce congestion and reduce the impact of transport on the environment. We will be working with our operators on a new partnership and taking forward the aspiration of the national bus strategy, delivering the improvements to our residents, businesses and visitors alike. This project will act as a major step towards our target of carbon neutrality by 2030.”
Torbay Council will find out if its Expression of Interest progresses to phase two of the bid process late summer 2021.
A summary of the bid submission can be found here: https://www.torbay.gov.uk/roads/travel/bus-network-improvements/
Read more about the council’s transport and environmental plans, policies and reports on the website: https://www.torbay.gov.uk/council/policies/
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