This week, Leicester City Council launched their first electric fleet of buses on their Park & Ride routes to replace diesel vehicles.
Eleven brand new buses will operate on the routes linking Meynell’s Gorse, Birstall and Enderby with the city centre. This is part of the first phase of a £50m project that could see electric buses rolled out to a third of the city’s network by 2024.
The £5m buses will provide commuters and shoppers with a quick, quiet and comfortable journey to the city centre. The distinctive green buses will also bring cleaner, greener and zero-emission public transport to Leicester for the first time.
Onboard there will be digital screens and USB charging points at every seat, as well as free Wi-Fi. Along with these additions, the smart new bus shelters will provide people waiting for the bus with real-time arrival information.
Discussing the new buses, City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Thanks to our successful bid for government funding through the Transforming Cities Fund, we’ve been able to make this significant investment into sustainable public transport.”
We know that if we are to persuade people to leave their cars outside the city centre, we need to offer them attractive and affordable travel alternatives
“We know that if we are to persuade people to leave their cars outside the city centre, we need to offer them attractive and affordable travel alternatives. These Greenline buses are clean, green and comfortable – and the more people use them, the more we can reduce congestion and improve air quality in the city,” he continued.
Transforming the city
Leicester’s successful bid to the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) has funded most of the £7.1m required for 18 new electric buses.
As well as the 11 new Park & Ride buses, four electric buses will be introduced on the popular Hospital Hopper routes in the autumn.
Additionally, three electric buses will operate on a brand-new city centre shuttle service from autumn 2022. The green shuttle will ferry people between transport hubs and key destinations in Leicester, free of charge.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “The ultimate goal of the Greenline Electric Bus Project is to improve public transport and local air quality by introducing zero-emission electric buses across the city. The next phase of the project is to secure funding that could allow up to 100 more electric buses to be purchased for Leicester.”
This Park & Ride service costs just £3 return for a family/group ticket and is free for concessionary bus pass holders. The service is currently subsidised so that health workers can travel free of charge until further notice.