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First electric bus pulls in to Shropshire

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Shropshire Council’s first-ever electric bus has pulled up in the county.

The bus will initially be used on Shrewsbury’s Park & Ride as part of a three-week trial, and it’s hoped further such buses will be in use on the county’s roads soon.

It has been introduced as part of improvements to the county’s public transport service, including the use of more sustainable, environmentally-friendly vehicles.

Arriva will be running the demonstration single-deck electric bus on Shrewsbury Park & Ride for three weeks to better assess the viability of this type of vehicle on the route, before deploying it elsewhere in Shropshire for further testing.

Simon Harris, Shropshire Council’s deputy cabinet member for public transport, said: “At cabinet in June we said we wanted to provide people with the best possible public transport service, one that meets the needs of passengers and the local economy – and we promised that people would soon start to see positive changes.

“We’re currently developing a transport vision and strategy for Shropshire that will encapsulate all forms of transport.

“To start with we are going to use it on the Park and Ride in Shrewsbury, and we’ll see how it gets on in the town and what the reaction is from the public.

"I would consider that the next step would possibly be to introduce an electric bus for the 436, Bridgnorth to Shrewsbury service. Out of all our services this is the one we need to revamp and make more sustainable and efficient."

Expectations

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Jamie Crowsley, general manager for Arriva Shropshire, said: “We have a responsibility to improve our bus network locally to provide a viable, attractive alternative to travelling by car, in order to cut congestion on our county’s roads and lessen the impact that heavy traffic levels have on our air quality locally.

"To do this we need to ensure that our customers are given access to transport that meets their growing expectations in terms of technology and comfort, but that also delivers with regards to environmental standards.

“Modern bus technology has advanced hugely in the last few years, with low carbon emission buses in the UK already saving 55,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, and providing a 95 per cent reduction in NOx emissions compared with previous models.

"There are a host of options available, but we are committed to working with our partners in the council to find the solutions which best suit their needs. This trial will offer them a realistic view of how electric buses function when in operation, in terms of both performance and cost on this critical route, and provide an excellent benchmark for future trials or investment.”

Arriva in Shrewsbury was selected for the initial trial due to its green credentials, including rainwater harvesting, solar panels, a grass roof for improved insulation and to encourage wildlife – and the installation of an automated chassis wash to reduce waste water and offer more efficient cleaning with reduced risk to staff.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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