Plans approved for electric bus rollout following successful funding bid

Following a bid to the Government to fund electric buses in Hull and the East Riding, Hull City Council’s Cabinet has approved plans to enable the purchase of 40 electric buses.

It will also allocate about £2m for the installation of charging infrastructure to support the rollout of the vehicles in the city.

In December 2023, the council, alongside Stagecoach, East Yorkshire Buses and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, submitted a joint bid to the Government’s ZEBRA2 (zero emission bus regional areas) scheme and was awarded nearly £6m in March.

Cabinet’s approval paves the way for replacing part of both Stagecoach and East Yorkshire Buses’ existing fleets, operating on public routes in the city, with fully electric buses, which run on rechargeable batteries and can have a range of up to several hundred miles.

Councillor Mark Ieronimo, cabinet portfolio holder for transportation, roads and highways at Hull City Council, said: “These new electric buses will play an important part in combatting climate change by replacing parts of the existing diesel fleet on 16 of the 46 routes in the city.

“Electric buses are greener and cleaner and will have a transformative impact on public transport throughout the city.

“There are currently no electric or hybrid buses operating on public bus services in Hull so, in addition to the environmental benefits, the new vehicles will have a wider impact by changing how our residents, and visitors to the city, see buses and help encourage, and increase, passenger demand.

“The council’s capital investment towards infrastructure costs will act as a springboard for both bus operators to introduce electric buses in the city and support them to make future investments in fleet replacement.”

Ben Gilligan, managing director of East Yorkshire Buses, said: “The news that we have funding to bring zero emission buses to Hull is a fantastic for our city and will make a real difference to the quality of the local environment due to the elimination of tailpipe emissions and reduced noise.”

Matt Cranwell, managing director at Stagecoach East Midlands, added: “The bus operators in Hull are making a major capital investment in new electric buses to take public transport into the next era of cleaner, quieter, and more environmentally friendly service delivery.

“The council’s funding commitment towards infrastructure costs was a significant factor in the success of the Hull Bus Alliance submission for the Department for Transport’s ZEBRA grant.

“Buses underpin the local economy by providing essential transport connections for people to reach employment, education, healthcare and retail services, which makes investing in sustainable transport an important strategy for the future development of Hull.”