Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has today confirmed that 130 zero-emission double-decker buses will be introduced in 2023 as part of a £140m project to make Coventry the UK’s first “all-electric bus” city.
The order for the buses, placed by National Express Coventry under a deal with TfWM, is one of the largest placed in the country. It comes after the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) secured £50m in funding from the Department for Transport to make every bus in Coventry zero emission. A further order is expected at a later date.
TfWM is now working with Coventry City Council to install the charging infrastructure, and will include upgrades to depots and charging points at Pool Meadow Bus Station.
According to Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change, Coventry City Council has been working with TfWM and National Express to begin to develop the infrastructure for up to 300 all-electric buses by 2025.
“It is incredibly exciting to think next year we will have 130 all-electric buses on the streets of Coventry thanks to the deal we have signed with National Express,” says Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair Andy Street. “These clean and green double-decker buses will not only be fantastic for passengers with their comfort and state-of-the-art technology, but it will also help in reducing air pollution and tackling the climate emergency.
“Buses are the backbone of transport in the West Midlands, and a key part of the public transport revolution we have been undergoing in recent years. So I am delighted we have been able to make yet another landmark investment as we look to build on our pre-pandemic levels of patronage – where the West Midlands was the only region that saw a rise in bus passenger numbers.”
Adds David Bradford, Managing Director of National Express Bus: “We are really looking forward to launching 130 more of our fully electric buses into service early next year on the way to making Coventry the UK’s first all-electric bus city.
“Ten of our existing electric double-decker buses have already driven over 850,000 miles and saved 1,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide from going out into the atmosphere. Hundreds more of these zero-emission buses are now on their way. It is really great news for Coventry residents and visitors.
“By working together with TfWM and Coventry City Council we are committed to driving improvements for our customers, as well as contributing to huge health and mobility benefits for people right across Coventry.
“Buses are already one of the cleanest ways to travel. National Express has the cheapest bus fares in England, alongside flexible ticketing, so our new and existing customers can relax knowing that they are doing their bit for the planet if they leave the car at home and travel by bus.”