The UK’s first solar-powered park and ride service has been launched in Leeds, using five battery-electric Alexander Dennis (ADL) BYD Enviro400EV double deckers.
The buses are owned and operated by First West Yorkshire under contract to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. Funding for the vehicles was secured via the Department for Transport’s Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme. The scheme is delivered in partnership with Connecting Leeds at Leeds City Council.
The 10.8m long examples of the Scarborough-built BYD ADL Enviro400EVs each seat 69 passengers and come with a range of 160 miles on a single charge. They are operated out of the park and ride site at Stourton, the third such site in Leeds.
45 solar panels covering the equivalent of 18 tennis courts generate the capacity to power the site’s electrical needs via a battery storage system. That includes 26 fast electric vehicle charging ports and four rapid chargers; lighting; CCTV security; and a heated terminus building and waiting room. There is also bicycle storage and 1,200 parking spaces on site.
The buses depart up to every 10 minutes and take less than 15 minutes to deliver passengers from the site to Leeds city centre.
“Stourton Park and Ride is growing in popularity since we began the service as people discover how easy it is to get in and out from the south side of Leeds,” says Martin Hirst, Commercial Director of First West Yorkshire. “We expect this to continue as more customers see the benefits of time and money saved through sustainable travel which helps to reduce congestion and create cleaner air in the city. This demonstrates how, with fully electric buses, we are building on the continued success of Park and Ride in Leeds with our regional and local authority partners.”
Adds ADL Sales Account Manager Marie Connell: “It is an honour to supply our electric double-deck buses for West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s landmark Stourton Park and Ride project.
“These not only provide a sustainable travel option for commuters and visitors to Leeds, but having been built in Scarborough, these have already benefitted Yorkshire through the skilled jobs and apprenticeships their production has supported, ensuring that the funding is re-invested into our communities.”
Frank Thorpe, Managing Director at BYD UK, adds: “This latest delivery is an excellent example of a partnership approach to providing a total solution. All stakeholders involved in the project shared a strong commitment to delivering a zero-emissions public transport solution, and to bring cleaner air quality to the region. Our combined effort will make a real difference, offering safe, quiet, comfortable transport for park and ride users, and removing hundreds of CO2-emitting cars from the road every day – a better deal for everyone.”