Gosport, Fareham, and Portsmouth are set to see a fleet of 28 new electric buses after a successful government bid worth £6.1m, which was awarded to Portsmouth City Council, in partnership with First Bus and Hampshire County Council.
This will bring the total number of electric buses operating in the region to 62 by March 2024, with the funding intended to increase the scope of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme across the region.
The funding will also be allocated to providing charging infrastructure to support the new fleet.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said: “It is wonderful to hear that we have been successful in our bid to secure even more zero emission buses for Portsmouth and the surrounding area. We have not been shy in sharing our plans to increase the amount of sustainable travel in this city, and I am delighted we are making good on promises to transform public transport.
“This project demonstrates how working together, Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire County Council and First Bus can deliver change to improve the quality of bus services and vehicles to benefit our communities”.
The 28 new electric buses will replace part of the current diesel fleet to support air quality improvements in Portsmouth and Hampshire.
What’s more, the new ZEBRA funding award will contribute to Hampshire County Council and Portsmouth City Council’s ambitions to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Simon Goff, managing director, First Bus (South) said: “We are delighted to be investing in the latest fully electric buses and excited to be further along the road to a zero-emission fleet. These vehicles will be a welcome boost for our customers in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport and we look forward to launching them early next year.
“We are committed to providing our passengers and the local communities we operate in with the most sustainable fleet possible, and that is why we feel it is important to invest in these state-of-the-art electric buses that will improve air quality and help the environment.”