York will have 21 new double-decker electric buses from October, thanks to investment by First York and funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
The zero-emission and fully electric buses each will be able to carry 99 passengers and have a range of over 150 miles from one overnight charge, which means that they don’t need to be recharged during the day.
First York also say they are upgrading its charging infrastructure, and the new vehicles will feature audio visual next stop technology, USB charging points and will carry new-look Park & Ride branding.
York Park & Ride, an operating partnership between City of York Council and First York, supports over four million journeys every year and is one of the UK’s most successful Park & Ride services. 12 electric single deck Optare buses have been operating on two out of the six Park & Ride sites for the last five years; helping to improve air quality and reduce congestion in the city. Individual car use and the congestion caused is a big contributor to air pollution in York, but each bus can take up to 75 cars off the congested streets in York
Cllr Peter Dew, executive member for Transport and Planning, said: ‘I’m delighted that City of York Council has been successful in securing funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) towards the cost of these new buses and I welcome First York’s ongoing investment in the Park & Ride fleet.’
Marc Bichtemann, managing director of First York, said: ‘We’re proud to be the operator of one of the biggest fleets of double deck electric buses outside of London, as we continue to work with City of York Council to improve air quality in York.’
In January, City of York Council approved £1.6m of funding for bus companies to transition to low-emission vehicles, as part of a Clean Air Zone that will come into force from 2020.
From January next year, any bus that enters the Clean Air Zone in York city centre five or more times a day must be an ultra-low emission bus standard, with firms allowed to continue using higher-emission buses until 2021 if they show they have measures in place to transition.