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Hull’s bus services to be bolstered with 40 new electric buses

Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and the region’s two main bus operators, East Yorkshire Buses and Stagecoach, have welcomed the Department for Transport’s funding announcement to support the rollout of electric buses in Hull and the East Riding.

The Government today (Friday 22 March) confirmed that it has made nearly £6 million available, as part of the ZEBRA2 (zero emission bus regional areas) scheme, towards the cost of 40 new, fully accessible electric buses and associated infrastructure, such as charging equipment.

Hull City Council’s Cabinet will be asked, in the summer, to approve the allocation of funds towards the project, with both bus operators also identifying money within their capital programmes to support the rollout.

Although buses make up a small proportion of overall emissions, transport is now the UK’s largest emitter of carbon.

The successful joint bid will see the replacement of existing diesel buses on public routes operated by Stagecoach and East Yorkshire Buses in Hull and the East Riding with fully electric buses, which run on rechargeable batteries and can have a range of up to several hundred miles.

The buses are charged externally, usually at the depot on a plug, after the end of service and, unlike diesel buses, produce no carbon emissions or nitrogen oxides, so can also contribute to improved air quality as well as combating climate change.

Electric buses are also quieter, providing a smoother ride, and are easier to maintain.

Councillor Mark Ieronimo, cabinet portfolio holder for transportation, roads and highways at Hull City Council, said: “We welcome today’s announcement from the Department for Transport of funding towards the rollout of electric buses, which will have a transformative impact on public transport throughout the city.

“Electric buses are greener and cleaner and will help combat climate change.

“There are currently no electric or hybrid buses operating on public bus services in Hull so, in addition to the environmental benefits, the new vehicles will have a wider impact by changing how our residents, and visitors to the city, see buses and help encourage, and increase, passenger demand.”  

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “As part of our plan to improve local transport in Yorkshire and the Humber, we’re providing over £5 million to roll out 40 brand new zero-emission buses in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire.  

 “This latest investment into our bus fleet comes on top of the £3.5billion we have invested into our bus network since 2020, protecting and improving bus routes into 2025 as well as extending the £2 bus fare cap until the end of 2024, made possible by reallocated HS2 funding.”  

Councillor Paul West, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We are extremely pleased to have worked together with Hull City Council on this successful bid for funding which will massively improve bus journeys for passengers in our areas. 

“Taking the bus instead of using cars already helps cut down on CO2 emissions, but this announcement is a major step forward in making public transport in the East Riding and Hull the most environmentally friendly way to travel.”

Ben Gilligan, managing director at East Yorkshire Buses, said: “We are delighted that our bid to bring zero emission buses to Hull and the East Riding has been successful.

“Between ourselves, and the other partners, this will bring about a step change in air quality, carbon emissions and service quality at a time when environmental issues are at the forefront of people’s minds.

“Our parent company, The Go-Ahead Group, has extensive experience in procuring and rolling out zero emission buses and we look forward to working on this project in the coming months.”

Matt Cranwell, managing director at Stagecoach, said: “A great deal of work has been carried out in partnership with Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council to pull together a strong funding bid to help kick start our electric vehicle journey in Hull.

“We are therefore thrilled to hear that the Department for Transport has seen the potential in our vision for Hull bus services and will be supporting this next crucial step by providing funding that will help purchase new electric vehicles and the required infrastructure at our bus depot.  

“Electric vehicles will help lower overall emissions and hopefully encourage others to use the bus that will assist in reducing congestion within the city overall. Stagecoach aims to have a zero-emission fleet by 2035 and therefore this is an important milestone in working towards this objective.”

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