Dozens of new electric buses for London, Manchester and Yorkshire

Image: The Harrogate Bus Company

The news comes in the same week that Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham took the city-region’s first order of 50 electric buses, while, elsewhere, a bus operator in North Yorkshire placed orders for 20 new electric single-deckers and 19 double-deckers.

In London, TfL confirmed the addition of more than 80 additional e-buses for Sutton, South London, on Wednesday (23 August).

The new buses on routes 93, 154, 164, 213 and 80 join more than a dozen electric models already operating on route 413. Sutton is home to more than 209,000 people and the population is growing, largely driven by its attractiveness as a commuter base.

With the new e-buses, more than half od bus journeys within the borough will be zero-emission at tailpipe, TfL said in a statement.

Across all London boroughs, TfL now operates some 1,100 zero-emission buses. It is aiming for a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2034 but is keen to move the target forward to 2030 and is campaigning for additional government support to do so.

Bus operator Go-Ahead London manages the routes in Sutton. Its managing director David Cutts said: “The Sutton area joins a growing list of services to benefit from brand new electric buses, which are popular with users and showcase sustainable public transport.

“Sutton Garage is 100 years old in early 2024 but we continue to look to the future, embracing zero-emission vehicles that improve local air quality.”

Manchester’s Bee network

In related news, the Mayor’s Office in Manchester this week unveiled the first 50 pure-electric buses to be delivered directly to the city.

The local authorities in Manchester are in the process of taking ownership of local bus services in-house and out of the private sector. The scheme is being called the ‘Bee Network’ and changes are due to come into force within weeks.

“It’s now just one month until we start to bring buses back under local control,” Burnham said. “With cheaper fares, new electric buses, earlier and later running services and improved customer information, people really will be better off with the Bee Network.”

The 50 new buses will enter operation in September.

It bears noting that Manchester is aiming to reach carbon neutrality by 2038.

Harrogate Bus Company

Last but not least in British e-bus news this week, the Harrogate Bus Company has placed order for 39 new e-buses.  The North Yorkshire firm has done so with support from North Yorkshire Council, which received funding through the UK Government’s  Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme.

Three routes are set to benefit from the addition of 20 Mercedes-Benz single-decker e-buses. A further route, the 36, will soon add 19 double-decker e-buses from Alexander Dennis.

The Harrogate Bus Company placed the orders for the buses after trialling several models on different kinds of routes in and around Harrogate. The new buses will be in operation in Spring 2024.

Henri Rohard, managing director at Transdev, the parent firm of The Harrogate Bus Company, said now was the right time to make the investment.

Rohard explained: “Higher power output delivered by today’s new generation batteries means each bus can go further between charge-ups – and to make sure we provide a reliable service, our buses will also have top-up charges at Harrogate Bus Station, as they will travel further in a day than the maximum range achievable by fully electric buses.”

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