Mayor’s bid for funding to plug in to electric-powered bus fleet

Steve Rotheram

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is seeking to increase electric bus use through a bid for government funding to buy 58 fully-electric double decker vehicles.

Their addition would expand the region’s zero emission bus fleet.

A bid has been submitted to secure £31m of funding for the buses, which would join the existing hydrogen vehicles to bolster the region’s publicly-owned, zero emission fleet. The combined authority would match-fund with £20m of its own.

The roll-out of new green, zero-emission buses is a key part of the Mayor Steve Rotheram’s plans to revolutionise the city region’s bus network.

In October, he took a landmark decision to take back control of the region’s buses after nearly 40 years of deregulation. Franchising will give the region greater control over routes, fares and timetables and the power to ensure that any profit is reinvested into the network to improve services for passengers.

He said: “Devolution has given our area the chance to build the 21st century London-style transport system that passengers deserve. From voting to take back control of our buses, investing in a brand new publicly-owned hydrogen fleet, introducing £2 fares and bringing back the night bus, we’re transforming our network for the better.

“More people get the bus than any other form of public transport. Like with our new publicly-owned trains, they deserve to travel on clean, modern and accessible vehicles. I’m investing to ensure that the Liverpool City Region has a bus fleet to be proud of – one that makes travelling better for passengers and for our planet, too.”

The bid is to be discussed at the next combined authority meeting, on Friday, December 15.

The funding would come from the latest tranche of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Area fund (ZEBRA 2), which covers up to 75% of the cost difference between the zero emission vehicles and a standard diesel engine bus.