Electric Buses are coming to the South West

3 weeks ago Fri 22nd Mar 2024

The Go-Ahead Group reaches a milestone with over 1100 zero emission buses - a leader in the UK

• The Go-Ahead Group adds 201 zero emission buses to its regional fleets
• Six of Go-Ahead’s regional bus companies celebrate a share of £112 million joint investment
• Go-Ahead's zero emission bus total exceeds 1100 - the largest in the UK
• The investment will help Go-Ahead reach its decarbonisation targets by 2035

The Go-Ahead Group, a leading provider of public transport services, proudly announces a significant achievement in sustainable public transport with the introduction of an additional 201 zero-emission buses to its fleet at regional bus companies, including Plymouth Citybus, Go Cornwall Bus, Go North East, Pulhams Coaches, Salisbury Reds, Southern Vectis, East Yorkshire Buses, and Brighton & Hove and Metrobus.

This substantial addition, delivery expected by March 2026, will bring Go-Ahead's total zero-emission bus count to over 1100, solidifying its commitment to environmental responsibility and contributing to cleaner air in communities across the UK.

The £112 million pooled investments in this initiative signifies a joint commitment from the Department for Transport, Go-Ahead’s bus companies and our local authority partners:

  • 50 ZEBs (Zero Emission Buses) with £28.5 million allocated to Go South West’s, Plymouth Citybus, and Go Cornwall Bus operators.
  • Go South Coast operators, Southern Vectis and Salisbury Reds will add 45 zero emission buses to its fleets, comprising an £24.1 million investment. 
  • £35 million for Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus, with 59 ZEBs - 43 for its Metrobus fleet in Crawley and 16 for its Brighton & Hove Buses division.
  • At Go North East, Riverside depot gets a further £5.7 million invested for 11 ZEBs.
  • Pulhams Coaches celebrates 15 ZEBs at its Bourton-on-the-Water depot, with an £8 million investment serving its rural communities.
  • And finally, in Hull, East Yorkshire Buses will introduce 21 ZEBs with a total of £10.9 million investment.

The total investment, comprising both buses and infrastructure amounts to £112 million, with the ZEBRA contribution standing at £44 million and local authorities contributing £6 million. Consequently, Go-Ahead’s investment comes to £62 million. This collaborative effort underscores the pivotal role of public-private partnerships in advancing forward sustainable transport solutions.

This significant investment is serving rural communities such as on Pulhams Coaches’ Bourton-on-the-Water routes and Southern Vectis’ Isle of Wight routes, demonstrating a commitment to finding deliverable ZEB solutions outside the big urban areas. Furthermore, customers travelling via Salisbury Reds routes to Stonehenge are to benefit from a fully zero emission bus fleet.

Each ZEB deployed by The Go-Ahead Group saves on average 60 tonnes of carbon emissions per year contributing significantly to the fight against climate change and to cleaner air and a healthier environment for communities across the UK.

"We are proud to lead the way in electrifying urban transit and accelerating the transition to cleaner, greener transport and we extend our gratitude to all our partners for trusting in us to deliver," said Miguel Parras, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of The Go-Ahead Group. "Our ongoing partnership with local authority partners and our investment in cutting-edge EV (Electric Vehicle) technology are driving meaningful reductions in carbon emissions and delivering tangible benefits to communities across the UK."  

Matt Carney, CEO – Go-Ahead Bus said: "Today’s news cements our position as leaders in delivering zero emission public transport. Our collaboration with local authority partners, supported by the Government's ZEBRA scheme, reflects our shared vision for a cleaner, more sustainable future. This expansion of our electric bus fleet not only demonstrates our commitment to reducing emissions but also marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of public transport in our areas of operation. We are dedicated to contributing to a greener, more sustainable future. I'm confident we'll achieve our goal of being fully zero-emission by 2035."

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “As part of our plan to improve local transport across the country, we’re providing a further £143 million to improve journeys for bus passengers particularly in rural areas, with almost a thousand brand new, zero-emission buses due to hit the road.

“This latest investment into our bus fleet comes on top of the £3.5 billion we have invested into our bus network since 2020, protecting and improving bus routes into 2025 as well as extending the £2 bus fare cap until the end of 2024, made possible by reallocated HS2 funding.”

The Go-Ahead Group remains committed to investing in innovative technologies and operational practices that support its environmental objectives while continuing to deliver reliable and accessible public transport services for passengers across the UK. Go-Ahead plans to achieve a fully decarbonised bus fleet by 2035.