First Leicester start ground-breaking work to electrify the bus depot in readiness to receive 68 brand new electric buses in 2023
Ground-breaking work has started in transforming local bus operator First Leicester’s bus depot ready to receive 68 brand new electric single deck buses from March next year 2023.
An investment of £29.1m has been secured so far towards the project and this is made up from Zebra1 [ the first round of Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) government funding alongside capital investment from First Leicester.
The ‘Leicester Bus EP Partnership’s objective’ to have half the overall bus network in Leicester to be electric by 2025 and fully by 2030 is on course, and First Leicester’s commitment and support over the next 6 months will make a significant step forward to achieving this.
With the introduction of 68 brand new electric buses coming into First Leicester’s fleet, it means they are leading the way in reducing emissions helping make the city a cleaner and greener environment for people to live, work and enjoy the many attractions the city has to offer. Overall, it is expected that each electric bus will save 60 tonnes of tailpipe emissions per year.
In support of the construction work starting, the Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, Deputy Mayor Adam Clarke and Andy Gibbons who has been pivotal in helping secure government funding on behalf of Leicester City Council for the project and Isabel McAllister First Bus Chief Sustainability & Compliance Officer were all present at a launch held at First Leicester along with senior dignitaries representing the local business.
Isabel McAllister, Chief Sustainability &Compliance Officer at First Bus said; “This is an exciting project that is planned to not only improve the journey experience for our customers with the arrival of 68 brand new electric single deck buses, but it is a major transformation of our depot and its functions.
"The local team are working closely with the construction team on site to minimise any disruption to our day-to-day requirements to operate efficiently and will be keeping all our staff up to date on the weekly progression of the project. There are exciting times ahead for public transport in Leicester and I am pleased that we are leading the way and part of the extremely important ‘Leicester Bus EP Partnership’ led by the City Mayor and Leicester City Council officers.
”As leaders in sustainable mobility, we are fully aligned with the Government’s ambitions for a net-zero carbon transport system, including zero-emission bus fleets. We will continue to work closely with central and Local Government across the UK to support the delivery of our shared decarbonisation ambitions and commitments.”
Mario De Luca, Operations Director at Brookes Development Ltd said;” We are really pleased to be involved in this exciting electrification project at First Leicester. We are working closely with the local team to manage the project and coordinate activity around the day to day requirements needed to keep the bus depot operational, whilst work takes place to transform the site. Personally, I have managed construction projects in York and at other First Bus locations across the mainland, building new infrastructure and power supplies to run public transport sites and bus stations.”
Adam Clarke, Deputy City Mayor - Environment & Transportation said; ” This is an exciting stage in the successful Leicester Buses Partnership. A whole depot powered up for ultra-modern electric buses on many more routes next year. Not only are we reducing air pollution, we're also making bus travel far more attractive for everyone across Leicester."
Notes to editors
- 68 Brand New ‘Wright bodied’ single deck buses being delivered from March 2023.
- Over 10,000 metres of cabling being fitted to the site.
- Over 60 tonnes of emissions saved per bus per year.
- Solar panels being fitted to the South side of the bus depot roof, energy produced is expected to deliver 54% of the building's requirements.
- First Bus have placed an £81m order for 193 fully electric buses thanks to ZEBRA funding, which is the largest ever EV bus order outside of London.
- First Bus have pledged to reach a fully zero emission fleet by 2035 across all of its UK Bus operations.
Picture 113 L to R
Mario De Luca, Brooks Development, Adam Clarke, Deputy City Mayor – Environment and Transportation, Andy Gibbons, Transport Strategy and Programmes, Rob Hughes, Operations Director at First Leicester, Carl Woolley, Engineering Director at First Leicester, Mark Evans, Site Manager, Brookes Development.
Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor and Isobel McAllister, First Bus Chief Sustainability & Compliance Officer
Andy Gibbons, Transport Strategy and Programmes, Rob Hughes, Operations Director at First Leicester, Carl Woolley, Engineering Director at First Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor and Isobel McAllister, First Bus Chief Sustainability & Compliance Officer
Mario De Luca, Brooks Development, Mark Evans, Site Manager, Brookes Development, Adam Clarke, Deputy City Mayor – Environment and Transportation
About First Bus
First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks.
We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience. We are focused on First Bus becoming a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future and are committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035; we have pledged not to purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland.
First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.