Hopes for fleet of 30 cleaner and greener electric buses in Stevenage by 2023

Transport bosses in Hertfordshire are hoping for a fleet of 30 cleaner and greener electric buses in Stevenage by 2023.

Existing diesel buses are a major source of air pollution – pumping out dirty fumes, with high levels of nitrogen oxides and carbon emissions.

And the Government has signalled it is to make up to £120m available to support areas – outside London – to move towards zero emission buses.

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Transport chiefs from Hertfordshire County Council – supported by Stevenage Borough Council – want Stevenage, Hertfordshire, to be among those to spearhead the way towards greener public transport.

And now they’ve been given the go-ahead to bid for funding from the Government’s ‘zero emission bus regional areas scheme’ (ZEBRA).

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As part of that bid the council will ask for up to 30 new single decker electric buses for the town.

And that – councillors have been told – could remove a staggering 1,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, as well as cutting down on noise and cleaning up bus stations.

“If we can get a substantial number of e-buses it will improve air quality,” the county council’s executive member for highways and transport Cllr Phil Bibby told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“It will encourage other bus operators to go electric. And it will also go towards Stevenage becoming a ‘sustainable travel town.”

Commenting on the bid, a spokesperson for Stevenage Borough Council says it is also “committed to finding an E bus solution”.

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Hertfordshire County Council is believed to be one of around 34 local authorities to have lodged an ‘expression of interest’ in this phase of ZEBRA funding.

But it is not yet known how many – like Stevenage – have been invited to go through to the next stage.

Officers from the county council will now submit a business case to the Government by January (2022).

And if that business case were to be successful, the fleet of electric buses could be on the roads of Stevenage by the end of January 2023.

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