Work to build a brand-new bus depot which will home a large electric fleet is making good progress in Warrington. Quadrant Transport looks at the project and how it is driving forward the move to sustainable transport in the area.
The £10 million facility will be located on land off Dallam Lane near the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
After this stage is finished, the depot will be fitted out with chargers for the new electric bus fleet, which is aimed to be rolled out towards the end of 2023.
New Affordable Housing Will Replace The Existing Bus Depot
Warrington South MP, Andy Carter, said: “The Government’s £42million investment in Warrington is one of the largest bus investments in the north of England.
“Not only will it see the entire fleet replaced with zero emission buses, it also provides £16million for improving the running of services, meaning more frequent bus services and more routes covered. The bus depot is moving from the end of Wilderspool Causeway to a new site near the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
“Construction is progressing well, meaning the site will soon be welcoming the first of the 120 new electric buses for Warrington funded by the Department for Transport.
The brownfield site of the existing bus depot is expected to be cleared and used for new affordable housing, close to town centre amenities and local services.
Supported by £21.5 million from the Department of Transport’s ZEBRA fund, the town’s Own Buses’ entire fleet of diesel buses will be replaced with 120 new electric buses. Currently, it is said that the diesel buses cover 85 per cent of the bus mileage in the borough.
Clean Green Transport Needs To Exist To Encourage Modal Shift
Highlighting the council’s commitment to green energy, the new buses will be charged with green electricity. This includes electricity from the council’s solar farm in Cirencester, as part of its part in providing more cleaner sustainable travel.
If the UK wants to deliver on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050, this clean green transport needs to encourage modal shift.
Cllr Hans Mundry, Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transportation, said: “It is exciting that this new, purpose-built, cutting-edge facility will be able to accommodate an all-electric bus fleet – which is a key ambition for us on our transformational transport journey,” he said.
“The introduction of our electric fleet, charged by renewable energy, next year will bring massive benefits, helping to decarbonise Warrington’s transport system as we work towards a zero-carbon future.
“The start of construction on our new depot is a huge step forward for our ambitious Town Deal plans and our vision to drive forward sustainable transport in Warrington.
It will support our work to improve air quality and tackle the climate emergency, providing the foundation for more environmentally friendly, modern and attractive bus services for local people.
With the potential to deliver 600 new homes on Wilderspool Causeway, the relocation will allow land to be released at the current bus depot site.