For the first time, residents will see electric buses on Portsmouth and Hampshire roads.
Portsmouth City Council has been awarded £6.5 Million as part of the National Bus Strategy, for the funding of zero emissions buses as part of their partnership with First Solent and Hampshire County Council. This Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) award will make a significant contribution to moving towards Net Zero as the council tackles the climate emergency that was declared in 2019.
Portsmouth and Hampshire are just one of twelve areas in the country receiving packages to deliver electric and hydrogen buses, as well as charging and fuelling infrastructure. This package is complementary to the implementation of Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council’s Bus Service Improvement Plans.
The 34 new electric buses will replace the current diesel fleet seen on the roads today. The new buses will operate across the Gosport, Fareham and Portsmouth and will support air quality improvements on the routes that travel through four of Portsmouth’s air pollution hot spots.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said: “I was so excited to hear our bid had been successful and we can start providing zero emissions buses in Portsmouth. This marks a significant milestone for our city in creating cleaner travel for all.
“I also eagerly await the funding announcement from Government in response to our Bus Service Improvement Plan. If successful, we will be able to transform our bus services so that residents and those coming to our city to work, study and visit have an affordable, reliable and better-connected bus service. I hope over time with all of these improvements we can support more people to leave their car at home and hop on a bus. This will improve air quality and make our city a better place for everyone to enjoy.”
Marc Reddy, Managing Director at First Solent, said: “This is great news and we are delighted for Portsmouth City Council. We look forward to continuing to work with them and Hampshire County Council to bring zero emissions buses to Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport and to help achieve the city council’s net zero target. As leaders in sustainable mobility, First Bus is fully aligned with the Government’s ambitions for a net-zero carbon transport system, including zero-emission bus fleets. We will continue to also work closely with central and local Government across the UK to support the delivery of our national decarbonisation ambitions and commitments.”