Coming to Greater Manchester: 60 All-Electric Buses

TfGM, Stagecoach, First, and MCT Travel gain funding under Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme

  • TfGM wins funding for 23 all-electric vehicles with 3 going to MCT Travel and 12 to First Greater Manchester;
  • Stagecoach Manchester wins £6.9m support funding for 32 zero emissions buses and associated infrastructure;
  • One of Europe’s biggest green e-bus fleets to be introduced between 2019 and 2020;
  • Huge boost for region’s air quality, economy and communities, plus UK manufacturing.

Greater Manchester bus passengers will soon be receiving sixty zero emission buses thanks to HM Government’s Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme. Thanks to bids by First Greater Manchester, MCT Travel, Stagecoach Manchester, and Transport for Greater Manchester, nearly £14.9 million of funding will cover new buses and associated infrastructure.

After winning £6.9m in support funding from the Government, Stagecoach Manchester’s 32 vehicles will account for more than half of Greater Manchester’s zero emission buses. First Greater Manchester, even with news of FirstGroup’s proposed sale on the horizon, will see 12 new buses – possibly for the popular Vantage routes.

For tendered services, MCT Travel passengers will see the arrival of three zero emission buses. Transport for Greater Manchester’s 23 vehicles will see service on the popular Free Bus shuttle services.

The Department for Transport announced today that the initiative is one of the biggest winners in the first tranche of funding announced today under the Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme, which is aimed at cutting emissions and ensuring cleaner and greener journeys.

Stagecoach Manchester will invest £9.6 million in the ground-breaking project, which is backed by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Transport for Greater Manchester and other key organisations.

The combined investment of £16.5m will deliver a new 32-vehicle fleet of zero emissions buses and associated infrastructure over the next two years.

The first of the planned double-decker e-buses are expected to go into service later in 2019, delivering a massive boost to local air quality and UK manufacturing, with the new fleet fully in place by early 2020.

Stagecoach’s new Enviro400 EV City vehicles, will have a range of up to 190 miles and a seated capacity of 80 passengers. These would be built by Alexander Dennis in Falkirk, using battery and power electronics expertise from automotive company BYD.

Greater Manchester’s sixty zero emission buses will be charged using Intelligent Chargers. At the depot, idle buses will be charged at certain times of the day to limit loadings on the electricity supply and maximise vehicle availability.

Stagecoach is already the UK’s biggest investor in hybrid-electric bus technology and has invested more than £1billion in new greener buses over the past decade.

Elisabeth Tasker, managing director of Stagecoach Manchester, said: “We are delighted to have won Government backing for our plans to help transform Greater Manchester’s bus network with one of the biggest single investments in e-bus technology anywhere in Europe.

“Our plans will put Greater Manchester at the forefront of the drive to improve local air quality, and help cement Britain’s position as global leader in manufacturing low-emission vehicles. It is also part of our wider partnership proposals to maximise the potential of the bus network to drive the region’s economy and better connect its communities.

“By working together, bus operators, the Mayor and the region’s local authorities can deliver the quick and sustained improvements we all want to see in Greater Manchester’s bus network, building on the major progress we’ve already made with investments in areas such as on board WiFi, contactless ticketing and live journey information.”

Stagecoach’s plans will see the new e-buses, which would replace conventional Euro 3 and Euro 4 vehicles based at its Sharston depot. Major charging infrastructure will allow buses to be charged simultaneously, enabling a 24 hour a day operation.

The e-bus fleet will operate two key high frequency services connecting Manchester city centre, Manchester Airport, five hospitals and two universities. It will also complement recent public investment in bus priority measures in the south of the city.

The introduction of new electric buses will enable the cascade of existing low-carbon emissions vehicles onto two routes serving the same corridor. This will allow the removal of older buses that comply with previous emissions standards, delivering a further improvement in overall emissions.

The buses will be introduced in the autumn of 2019, after the infrastructure works scheduled for completion by the summer.

The new e-bus fleet for Greater Manchester offers a 62% improvement in CO2 emissions over the latest low-carbon emission buses and supports the region’s Air Quality Action Plan. Overall, the initiative will save 920,000 litres of diesel a year, reduce annual CO2 by 2,400 tonnes, and cut NOx emissions by 9% and particulates by 7% across the fleet.

Poor air quality is estimated to contribute to more than 40,000 premature deaths across the UK each year, with emissions from cars and vans estimated to cost £6bn annually to the NHS and society.

With recent events concerning First Greater Manchester and the arrival of 60 zero emission buses, 2019 is set to be a memorable year. In more ways than one.

Over 200 people attended tonight’s Better Buses for Greater Manchester event at the Manchester Art Gallery. Starting at 6.30pm, the discussion featuring the Manchester Evening News’ Jennifer Williams was popular to the point where it was ‘standing room only’. So far, nearly 8,300 people have signed their petition which supports the re-regulation of Greater Manchester’s bus network.

An EM60 Presentation, 06 February 2019.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Graham Thorley says:

    let’s hope it’s just the start of a better future for Greater Manchester…


  2. Philip Longdon says:

    At the risk of sounding sarcastic; Has this blog been renamed SOUTH of the M60?


  3. stewgreen says:

    Don’ worry the magic unicorns will be paying for all the subsidies and extra infrastructure costs
    .. it doesn’t really come from increased government borrowing and taxes.


    1. Philip Longdon says:

      Bl**dy Hell. When I said South (as against East), I didn’t mean 180 miles South……

      Liked by 1 person

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