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Council bids for zero-emission buses

A Council-led bid could see 50 electric, zero-emission buses on the roads of the city and the Rame peninsula.

The Department for Transport is making £129m available to support the introduction of the buses in England and the Council is leading a bid to the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme, in partnership with Plymouth Citybus Ltd (part of The Go-Ahead Group Ltd) and Cornwall Council.

If successful the bid will see the introduction of 50 zero-emission, electric, double- decker buses on routes operating in Plymouth and the Rame peninsula as well as the necessary associated charging infrastructure at the Plymouth Citybus depot in Milehouse.

This will mean better transport to places of work, education, leisure and healthcare and improvements in air quality. It will also strongly support the climate change ambitions in our Net Zero Action Plan.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport said: “If successful, this bid will not only mean we can introduce modern, zero-emission buses on some of our key routes but also cascade existing Euro 6 diesel buses displaced from electrified routes onto other services in Plymouth and South-East Cornwall, modernising the Plymouth Citybus fleet in the Plymouth travel-to-work area.”

Councillor Tom Briars-Delve, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, added: “Cutting emissions from the transport sector is a top priority for the Council and its partners. The introduction of electric buses within Plymouth and its wider travel-to-work area would be an important step on our path towards net zero whilst supporting cleaner air. Our ZEBRA bid shows how seriously the Council is taking climate change locally.”

The value of the bid is around £34 million, with the Council making a financial contribution (funded from the Community Infrastructure Fund levy) of £750,000.

The deadline for bids is 4pm on Friday 15 December and the outcome is due to be announced by April.