Coventry and Oxford may become the first towns in the UK to run all-electric bus services, following the announcement by transport secretary Grant Shapps of the results of an England-wide competition to switch an entire area’s bus fleet to electric vehicles.
Subject to successful business cases, each town could be awarded up to £50million to replace its entire fleet of buses with all-electric versions, and to also install new infrastructure, including charging stations, and electric grid updates.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says: “Coventry and Oxford could soon be at the forefront of our plans for a new era of bus services, helping us develop the green transport network of the future and support jobs right here in the UK.”
Coventry and Oxford were selected from 19 bids from across England to become the first all-electric bus town or city.
Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, says: “This news is brilliant for Coventry and the West Midlands, and I am delighted the secretary of state and his department have once again put their faith in our region to deliver.
“Turning all of Coventry’s bus fleet electric is not only a major boost to public transport in the city, but it will also help tackle the climate emergency we face both here in the West Midlands and the wider UK.
Oxfordshire county council leader Ian Hudspeth adds: “Oxfordshire’s bid comes at a time when our council is determined to take concerted climate action to cut vehicle air pollution and expand the provision of bus services with our Zero Emission Zone and Connecting Oxford plans.
“This council is committed to offering our residents a clean and environmentally sustainable future through a series of steps including through better public transport.”