Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has launched the latest milestone in Nottingham’s electric bus project, at Queens Drive park-and-ride. .
The electric network now extends to 14 buses on the Medilink hospital service, run
by Nottingham Community Transport. The recent delivery of 20 electric Optare buses â€“ 10 Solos and 10 Versas â€“ sees 28 electric buses now operating in the city, on the City Council’s Medilink, Centrelink and Locallink services, to be joined in autumn by a further 17.
This marks the second stage of the project. Nottingham’s first four electric buses were introduced on the Centrelink service, run by Trent Barton, in September 2012, followed by four more for Locallink, run by Nottingham Community Transport. By September, there will be 45 electric buses in operation â€“ the biggest electric bus network in Europe.
The launch also saw the Queens Drive park-and-ride site, where the buses are kept overnight, established as an ‘Eco Hub’ that includes 27 overnight chargers and three daytime fast chargers.
The project is funded by the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund and the City Council’s Workplace Parking Levy and Local Sustainable Transport Fund, with the whole project costing around 14m. The next stage will see the Citylink network convert to electric, from September 2015.
Nottingham Community Transport is a registered charity, set up in 2009 with the aim of improving equality of access to public transport.
All of Nottingham’s electric buses are maintained by Johnsons Bros. Tours of Worksop.
Cllr Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for planning and transport at Nottingham City Council, says: â€œThe use of electric buses has already helped to reduce noise and improve air quality in the city. They will be expanded across the city, taking the total number of electric buses in Nottingham to 50 by September 2015.â€
John Horn, Sales Director at Optare says: â€œNottingham has become a centre of excellence for electric buses.
â€œWe’re very pleased to be a part of it, with this number of buses, and with Nottingham’s confidence to order 17 more.
â€œThe fact that the Baroness is here is very good for publicity and it acknowledges all that they’ve done here.â€