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How Will Electric Buses Reduce Congestion in the North East?

2 min

Image Credit: Go-Ahead
Go-Ahead has expanded its fully electric bus fleet in the North East with the addition of nine Voltra electric buses. Quadrant Transport looks at how the new buses will back the UK Government’s net zero commitment.

The new electric buses result from a £2 million investment with top-up funding from the Government’s Ultra-Low Emission Bus Fund and will serve the Q3 route, which runs from Great Park to Wallsend via Newcastle City.

Go North East’s zero emission buses are said to help improve air quality in the region and, therefore, back up the Government’s net zero commitment.

Implementing Zero Emission Buses Hopes To Encourage Modal Shift

Go North East, Managing Director, Nigel Featham said: “Our Voltra buses run on electricity sourced with green credentials, but Voltra is far more than just an electric bus fleet.

“We’ve looked at every detail, working with Pelican Yutong and other suppliers, to maximise the use of technology and innovation. We’re providing high standards in bus travel, including customer comfort, information, and ticketing.”

We hope that by adding to our zero-emission bus fleet, we can help flip the switch on people’s behaviour and see more people across our region leave the car behind to help reduce congestion on our roads and improve air quality for us all.

These new buses will boast a range of onboard features to help deliver a better bus experience for passengers, including air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, wireless and USB charging phone holders, and ‘tab-on tap-off’ contactless is available for passengers to pay for their travel through Google Pay or Apple Pay. The Voltra buses will be charged overnight at the Riverside depot in Gateshead.

Sustainable Transport Is Needed To Make Travel More Attractive For Customers

Christian Schreyer, Go-Ahead Group CEO, said: “The importance of sustainable travel is growing, reflecting trends in climate change, digitalisation, urbanisation, and demographics.

“There are increasing funding opportunities for bus lanes, traffic management and improvements to bus stops, helping to reduce journey times and improve the reliability of services. Go-Ahead see opportunities to grow by encouraging people to leave their cars at home and improving our services to make bus travel more attractive for our customers.”

We’ve set ambitious, but deliverable, targets in our ‘Next Billion Journey’s business strategy, and there is an exciting future for Go-Ahead.

It comes after in November 2020, Go-Ahead launched the first fully electric bus fleet in the North East of England, taking Go North East’s total of electric buses to 18 with this latest development.

Currently, Go North East employs over 2,000 people, facilitating 175,000 journeys every day on a fleet of nearly 600 buses and coaches across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and into the Tees Valley.