Electric buses driving into Norwich after £3.2million funding is secured

28 March 2022

In a major boost to Norfolk’s ambitions to run a net zero transport system £3.2million in funding has been secured to introduce 15 electric buses to the network in Norwich.

Norfolk County Council has secured the funding after a joint bid with First Bus was submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) for funding from the ‘Zero Emission Bus Regional Access’ (ZEBRA) scheme.

This bid is matched by £3.6m of local investment from First Bus and will deliver 15 battery electric buses which will be in operation by March 2024.

Tom McCabe, Norfolk County Council's Director of Community and Environmental Services, said: “It is fantastic news that we have received the £3.2m funding from the Department for Transport Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme. This funding will allow us to work closely with First to replace 15 single decker buses with electric single decker vehicles. The new vehicles will operate on existing bus routes which operate through the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in Norwich City Centre and will help us to reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 600 tonnes a year. This will be a huge step in our commitment to improve air quality in the Greater Norwich area in our journey towards a Net Zero transport system.”

Steve Wickers, Managing Director at First Norfolk & Suffolk said: “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 are pleased to receive the outcome of the ZEBRA funding application for Norfolk and the confirmation that funding has been secured to introduce 15 new electric buses into our local fleet.

“We will continue to work closely with Norfolk County Council to deliver bus priority for customers in Norwich and progress the decarbonisation of our bus fleets across the region. More widely, our work with central and local Government across the UK continues to support the delivery of our national decarbonisation ambitions and commitments.”

The new vehicles will operate on four existing bus routes, all of which operate through the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in Norwich City Centre. The routes are:

  • Green Line: Bus routes 15 / 15A / 15B
  • Yellow Line: Bus route 29
  • Purple Line: Bus route 39
  • Charcoal Line: Bus routes 40 / 40A

The news comes just days after Norfolk County Council also secured £500,000 Zero Emission Transport City (ZETC) development funding from the government which will allow a detailed study to be carried out this year to explore the benefits and impacts that a zero-emission zone in the city centre could bring and how it could be established.

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