Coventry and Oxford set to be UK’s first all-electric bus cities

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Coventry and Oxford are developing proposals to become the first parts of the UK to run all-electric bus services, transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

The cities are developing business cases in an England-wide competition to switch an entire town or city’s bus fleet to EVs.

Each area could be awarded up to £50m to not only replace its entire fleet of buses with all-electric versions, but to also install new infrastructure, such as charging stations, and pay for electric grid updates.

Shapps said: “Coventry and Oxford could soon be at the forefront of our plans for a new era of bus services, helping us develop the green transport network of the future and support jobs right here in the UK.”

According to Shapps, the UK government received 19 bids from across England to become the first all-electric bus town or city. Applicants were required to demonstrate buy-in from stakeholders in their local areas; outline existing plans to reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality; and show how the plan would tackle an existing air quality problem.

The government will now work with both local authorities to finalise their business cases over the coming weeks.

The all-electric bus towns and cities competition is part of a wider package of measures to improve services and make bus journeys greener, easier and more reliable.

In February 2020 the government announced £5bn for buses and active travel. The UK’s first-ever long-term bus strategy will be launched in the coming months.

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