First Bus has begun ground-breaking work to transform its Norwich Roundtree Way depot into site that will house an electric fleet of vehicles.
The bus operator is preparing to receive 70 new electric buses from Northern Ireland-based manufacturer Wrightbus, scheduled to arrive between Autumn 2023 and March 2024.
It means that more than half of the Norwich network operated by First Bus will be electric – over 60% of all bus journeys through Castle Meadow in the city centre.
By working together with Norfolk County Council an investment of £14.7m has been secured from the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) government funding, alongside capital investment of about £22.5m from First Bus.
Each electric bus will save up to 60 tonnes of tailpipe emissions per year.
Piers Marlow, Managing Director at First Bus Eastern Counties said, ”This is an exciting project that will make a significant improvement to the journey experience for our customers and to the local environment with the arrival of 11 single deck and 59 double deck EV buses.
“A major transformation of our depot has started, and we are working closely with the site construction team to minimise any disruption to our day-to-day requirements to operate bus services efficiently.
“There are exciting times ahead for public transport in Norwich, and I am pleased that First Bus are leading the way and part of this extremely important partnership with Norfolk County Council. Their commitment and focus on improving bus provision in the area is commendable”.