Stagecoach to invest £9m in new greener hybrid electric buses

Stagecoach to invest £9m in new greener hybrid electric buses

  * Fleet of 47 new state-of-the-art vehicles for Newcastle and Sheffield
  * Low carbon buses will deliver at least 30% cut in carbon emissions
  * Investment supported by award from Government Green Bus Fund
  * Success follows Stagecoach introduction of UK’s biggest electric fleet

Stagecoach confirmed today (14 October 2010) that it is to invest around £9 million in a fleet of state-of-the-art greener hybrid electric buses for Newcastle and Sheffield.

It follows the award of more than £4 million in support funding from the Government’s Green Bus Fund, the largest successful bid outside London.

A fleet of 47 double-decker buses, which have 30% less carbon emissions than standard vehicles, will be manufactured and go into service by March 2012.

It follows the introduction by Stagecoach this summer of the UK’s biggest fleet of hybrid electric vehicles.

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Some 26 of the new hybrid vehicles will be introduced on Stagecoach services 39 and 40 in Newcastle, covering key local areas including Wallsend, Walker, Byker, the City Centre, West Road, Chapel House and Dumpling Hall. A further 21 hybrids will be introduced on service 52 in Sheffield, which connects Hillsborough and Woodhouse, operating through the city centre and serving Sheffield University and Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Market-leading British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis and BAE Systems have provided the technology behind the new low carbon buses, which feature an innovative regenerative braking system. The Enviro400H buses will be built at Alexander Dennis’s main manufacturing plant in Falkirk, Scotland.

The investment, which will assist efforts to improve city centre air quality, follows Stagecoach’s success in the second round of bidding for support funding from the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund.

Norman Baker, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport announced today that Stagecoach was to receive more than a quarter of the Government’s £15 million investment in the new vehicles.

Stagecoach will receive more than £4 million in Government support funding to add to its own £9 million investment under a scheme designed to help meet the cost of more expensive low carbon vehicles.

Les Warneford, Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: “We are delighted we have had further success in securing support funding for our programme of investment in green bus technology. These new vehicles are more efficient and better for the local environment

“Buses and coaches already deliver a major carbon saving over using the car, but new technology is only part of the answer to the challenge of climate change. We also need better bus priority, improved bus speeds in our cities, and investment in park and ride if we are to maximise the potential of buses and coaches and make it more attractive for people to switch to public transport.”

Earlier this year, Stagecoach launched Britain’s biggest single investment in green hybrid bus technology. A total of 56 vehicles went into service in Oxford and Manchester at a cost of £16 million.

Investment in greener buses is part of Stagecoach Group’s sustainability strategy to reduce further the carbon emissions from its transport operations in the UK and North America. Backed by an £11million investment programme, the Group is targeting an overall reduction of 8% in buildings CO2e emissions and a cut of 3% in annual fleet transport CO2e emissions by April 2014.

Stagecoach Group is also working with our major public transport groups in the UK on a major campaign to encourage people to make less use of cars and switch to sustainable bus and coach travel instead. The Greener Journeys campaign is targeting one billion fewer car journeys over the next three years. The target could be achieved by switching one in 25 journeys by car to bus and coach, delivering a huge reduction in carbon emissions.