Funding bid for £11.4m to provide 23 electric buses in Salisbury

NEW electric buses could soon be carrying passengers in Salisbury if a funding bid is successful.

Wiltshire Council and Salisbury Reds have submitted a bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) for 23 new zero-emission electric vehicles.

If the bid is successful, it would total an £11.4m investment in the Salisbury transport network, with funding coming from Salisbury Reds, DfT and the council.

The plan would include the 23 buses, plus the required investment in charging infrastructure at the Salisbury Reds’ depot in the city.

Funding could come as part of the next phase of DfT’s ZEBRA (Zero Emission Bus Regional Area) scheme, and would be used to supply new electric buses on most of the city routes and to surrounding local areas, including the services to and from Stonehenge and the city’s Park and Ride sites.

Cllr Caroline Thomas, cabinet member for transport at the council, said: “If successful, this ZEBRA bid will see most of Salisbury’s city network of buses changed to electric, which would not only bring new, state-of-the-art buses and reduce carbon emissions, but also improve air quality in the city.

“We have committed to improving our bus network, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality in our Business Plan, and if successful, this bid will bring these benefits and more, transforming the city’s transport network.

“Working together, our officers and Salisbury Reds have complied a strong bid for this funding, and we look forward to hearing the outcome in spring 2024.”

Andrew Wickham, managing director of Salisbury Reds, said: “I’m delighted to have been working with Wiltshire Council, once again, to bid for funding that will give Salisbury a brand new fleet of electric vehicles.

“Buses are an excellent solution for improving air quality and reducing congestion, because they give people the option to leave their cars at home and use sustainable transport instead.

“This joint bid gives us a wonderful opportunity to take greener transport in Salisbury a massive step even further – with the exciting prospect of 23 more electric buses here.

“This also ties in perfectly with our parent company the Go-Ahead Group’s Cli-mate Change Strategy – which has an overarching target to become a net zero carbon business by 2045.

“We know just how important it is to improve air quality across the city – and we are thrilled to be right at the forefront of transforming public transport for those living in, working in and visiting Salisbury.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *