Warrington Borough Council has submitted it’s bid to become the first electric bus run town in the country. Back in February the Government opened up to Local Councils to provide “Expressions of Interest” to bid for why they should get funding to become a fully electrified bus Town.
The aim of the fund is for the chosen town to act as a pilot to understand what can be achieved when there is a real commitment to move all buses in a place to electric zero-emission. The Government will also be able to understand the impact this can have on improving air quality and greenhouse as well as the costs for bus operators and users.
As one of the most successful towns in the UK for economic development, investment, employment rates and growth, Warrington has a strong and resilient economy, and has developed a strong labour market.
This growth has brought some challenges for the town, including areas with poor air quality resulting from vehicle emissions. This challenge combined with our success and proposals for further economic growth make Warrington an ideal place to introduce the first all-electric bus fleet and make greener journeys the natural choice for the residents of the town.
Welcoming the submission to the Department for Transport, MP Andy Carter said:
“This Government is committed to investing in bus networks with lower fares – flat fares in urban areas – and increased frequency. We want to keep bus fares low, bring back and protect rural routes, and speed up journeys. At the centre of this we are investing in electric buses, developing the UK’s first all-electric-bus town which I hope can come to Warrington.
“With this expression of interest that sets out a strong proposal, Warrington is demonstrating that the town is able and ready to set the gold standard in environmentally friendly public transport. With all operators committing to the project, and a new fit for the future bus depot already being proposed, Warrington is the perfect location to serve as a model for zero-emission bus travel.”
The Council and Northern stakeholders including Transport for the North believe Warrington is the ideal location to introduce a pilot project of this nature. Buses companies operate over 80% of bus mileage in the borough. Currently all of these services operate using a diesel-powered fleet. Full support is in place from them and all other bus operators in the town.
Planning permission is also in place for a brand new Warrington’s Own Buses depot located close to the town centre bus interchange. These plans would require only minor modification to allow for the inclusion of 120 charging points for electric buses.
The Expression of Interest is now with the Department for Transport for consideration and a decision is expected in around a months’ time.