Council applies to be first fully electric bus city

City of York Council has applied to the Department of Transport for funding to deliver Britain’s first fully electric bus city.

This is in addition to a recent council investment to deliver the first voluntary clean air zone in the country, which is aimed at reducing exhaust emissions from the city’s buses as part of a bid to tackle pollution.

The latest scheme would see the entire bus fleet of York changed over to vehicles that are fully electric, or capable of operating in electric, zero-emission mode, which aims to reduce emissions and clean up the air in communities.

York was one of the first cities in the UK to introduce large numbers of electric buses in 2014.

A further 21 new electric double decker buses will join its network to give York one of the largest fleets of electric buses in the country.

The council is also looking to buy two fully electric refuse collection vehicles and has invested extensively in the city’s charging infrastructure, both at car parks and at the three proposed hyper hubs.

Councillor Keith Aspden, leader of the council, said: “It is important that we continue to build on our investments in York’s Clean Air Zone, the city’s charging infrastructure and our own council fleet by working to secure this funding for York.

“We have an ambitious electric vehicle programme for the city, as part of our efforts to improve air quality and address the climate emergency, and will continue to work with our partners to make progress in this area.”

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport, said: “We are committed to improving the air quality in the city and reducing greenhouse gas emissions as we move towards achieving zero carbon by 2030.

“Achieving an entirely electric bus fleet would be an important step towards our objectives. This will help us to ensure healthy air quality, speeding up journeys and making them more reliable.”

Marc Bichtemann, managing director of First York, said: “We fully support this bid and its benefits to the future of York.

“We have much experience of operating electric buses in the city and working with stakeholders across York to promote sustainable travel in the city.”