Torbay’s buses to go electric after historic £27m investment in Bay’s public transport

A multi-million-pound investment is set to transform Torbay’s public transport network through the delivery of a brand new fleet of zero-emission buses. 

This latest investment is part of plans to improve local transport in the South West, growing the local economy and creating a cleaner and more reliable public transport network. 

Torbay will receive a total overhaul of its current bus fleet, with 49 new zero-emission buses thanks to £7.1 million of Government funding for Torbay Council. 

The authority joins 25 other councils across the country to receive a share of funding, totaling £143m. This equates to almost a thousand new zero-emission buses.

The £7.1m of Government funding for Torbay Council announced today is expected to be combined with up to £18m of investment by South Devon’s largest bus operator Stagecoach, to produce a total investment of £27m. 

The aim is to modernise their fleet, producing a major upgrade to our bay’s public transport network, including routes that run to Totnes and Newton Abbot.

As well as helping to decarbonise the existing fleet of buses in the area and protect the environment, the modern buses will increase reliability and dependability for all bus users.

Newer buses also mean better passenger journeys, including meeting enhanced accessibility standards and providing the latest passenger experience features, such as wifi and USB charging sockets.

Cllr Adam Billings, Cabinet Member for Pride in Place and Parking for Torbay Council, said; “Today’s funding announcement should be recognised as a defining moment for public transport in Torbay. 

“£7.1m will allow us to work with Stagecoach to deliver a public transport system fit for future generations. The provision of an electric bus fleet provides local communities with enhanced, zero-emission, transport options.

“The funding puts the council closer towards realising our ambition of a decarbonised transport system, providing genuine choice for how the community choose to travel around Torbay. We are confident that the new zero-emission vehicles will encourage more people to use the bus as their first option for transport.”

It is the second round of funding as part of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) plan, with rural areas being prioritised, and means total Government support for zero-emission buses across the country now stands at £413m.

Torbay MP Kevin Foster worked with Stagecoach, Torbay Council and Government Ministers to secure the investment program. Mr Foster said that he hopes that making the switch to green energy wouldn’t just benefit the environment, but help to clean up pollution in busy parts of the Bay as well as insulate local bus passengers against future price shocks. 

Kevin Foster said: “This electrifying level of investment will transform our bus network. For bus passengers it means quieter and more reliable journeys, for our community it means better air quality, especially on busy routes like Hele Village. 

“I am delighted to have worked with colleagues, Stagecoach and the Conservative Leadership of Torbay Council to secure this once-in-a-generation package of improvements for public transport in our bay.”

Torbay Council Leader Dave Thomas (Cons), said: “I’m absolutely delighted to hear the latest government announcement that Torbay will be one of only 25 authorities to be earmarked for this money. Once again, this shows huge confidence in Torbay as we continue to move forward.

“It was probably about 18 months ago when Stagecoach came forward with a planning permission request to install electric charge points in their garage. It’s fantastic that this is already lined up so we’ll be excited to see the arrival of these new buses in due course.”

Peter Knight, Managing Director at Stagecoach South West, said, “This is an exciting and important moment for Stagecoach in the South West. As a key driver of supporting the move to net zero, our sustainability strategy sets out a roadmap to decarbonise by 70% by 2035 and to become a carbon-neutral business by 2050.

“We welcome this allocation of funding to local authorities for investment in new zero-emission buses. This support gives renewed confidence to the whole supply chain and will unlock significant private sector investment into new, clean vehicles.

“Securing this funding in partnership with Torbay Council will get us on the road to deliver our shared ambitions to reduce carbon emissions, deliver cleaner air and thriving bus services that support our region. We are delighted that government and Stagecoach Group are investing in the South West and we look forward to welcoming the new fleet that will benefit the local community and bus users alike.”

Conservative MPs Anthony Mangnall and Anne Marie-Morris we’re also supportive of the initiative, saying in a letter to government: “The opportunity to invest £27 million to improve and decarbonise public transport in our area of the South West, most of which is private capital from Stagecoach (£18m), does not happen every day and we are very supportive of this project.

“The project will see a total decarbonisation and replacement and replacement of the current bus fleet in areas across Teignbridge, Torbay and the South Hams.”

This latest investment follows a number of schemes to protect and improve bus services across the country, with the Government investing £3.5bn since 2020.

Thanks to reallocated HS2 funding, the £2 bus fare cap has also been extended until the end of 2024.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button


Get our latest downloads and information first. Complete the form below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

100% secure your website.