Norwich’s public transportation system took a significant leap towards sustainability as the city’s first electric buses hit the streets.
Operated by First Bus, these zero-emissions double-deckers are set to revolutionize the local transit landscape.
Seven electric buses, decked out in vibrant shades of Pink, Red, Orange, and Blue, began their service, offering Norwich residents and visitors a cleaner and more environmentally friendly way to navigate the city.
The introduction of these buses is a part of First Bus’s broader commitment to fully electrify its Roundtree Way depot and replace its entire diesel fleet by March 2024.
First Bus invested a substantial £23 million in this green initiative, emphasizing their dedication to sustainable transportation.
The new buses, manufactured by British bus builder Wrightbus, are a testament to First Bus’s goal of converting its entire fleet to zero tailpipe emissions by 2035.
Piers Marlow, Managing Director of First East of England, expressed, “It’s incredibly exciting, after all the hard work and planning that has gone into this project so far, that the first vehicles are going out onto the roads to serve customers in Norwich.”
“These vehicles offer significant environmental benefits, saving around 75 tonnes of CO2 per vehicle per year when compared to a diesel, and will improve the air quality for the City’s residents and visitors as they emit zero tailpipe emissions,” he stated.
Marlow also highlighted the improved customer experience that these electric buses offer, featuring modern amenities such as USB charging points, a quieter and smoother ride, and enhanced accessibility features.
With the help of a £14.7 million investment from the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) government funding, in collaboration with Norfolk County Council, First Bus secured the necessary financial backing to acquire these electric buses.
Their funding commitment was matched with approximately £23 million of their resources.
Graham Plant, Cabinet member for highways, infrastructure, and transport, lauded the arrival of these electric buses as a remarkable step towards achieving a net-zero transport system in Norfolk.
He emphasized the collaborative spirit between First Bus and the local authorities, demonstrating how working together can make significant strides toward a greener and more sustainable future for the county.
The introduction of these electric buses is not only a boon for the environment but also a testament to the power of public and private sector collaboration in pursuit of a cleaner, more efficient transportation system for Norwich.
As more electric buses join the fleet in the coming months, residents and visitors can look forward to a cleaner, quieter, and more sustainable public transportation experience in the heart of the city.