A third of the First Bus fleet at its Bramley depot in Leeds will be fully electric by 2024, bus bosses have confirmed today.
As First Bus and the Combined Authority (WYCA) have been successful in securing Department for Transport (DfT) approval to boost their existing Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) project.
This means the company will co-fund an additional 25 double-decker electric buses in Bramley with 58% of the funding provided by First Bus and the remaining 42% from the Government’s ZEBRA scheme.
Additional investment from First Bus totals £8 million and will accelerate the full zero emission transformation of the depot.
WLD reported last November that £2.3m plans to install electric charging points at the Henconner Lane depot has been approved by council planners.
Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee Cllr Peter Carlill (Calverley & Farsley) said: “Greener buses are always a welcome sight on our road, so I welcome this funding to increase West Yorkshire’s fleet of them.
“People living in our region have a right to expect clean air, which is why the West Yorkshire Combined Authority has targeted a net zero carbon economy by 2038, with a focus on transport.
“We still have plenty of work to do, but these new buses, as well as the improvements we’re making to the Bramley depot, put us well on our way to achieving a greener and healthier future for our region.”
Simon Carlisle, Engineering Director of First Bus in West Yorkshire, said: “This sets us on a clear path to transforming Bramley and expanding our electric bus fleet in Leeds.
“We are delighted to be accelerating investment, supported by co-funding from the Department for Transport. As leaders in sustainable mobility, we are fully aligned with the Government and Combined Authority ambition for a net-zero carbon transport system.
“We are excited to take our people on this journey with us and look forward to the Bramley project coming to fruition and the first vehicles going into service for our customers.”
This latest boost represents a total investment from First Bus in Leeds of £15.8m, alongside ZEBRA funding of £12.6m. It follows First Bus’s ZEBRA success last year, which saw the operator place an order for 32 electric buses for Bramley as part of the largest purchase of EV buses to date with a total of 193 vehicles from British manufacturer Wrightbus.