Arriva UK Bus is to benefit from funding in two regions, helping to accelerate its sustainability ambitions and its drive towards a zero-emission fleet. The UK Government has announced the winners of funding for electric vehicles through its Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme, which exists to support the Government in delivering its commitment to fund a total of 4,000 zero-emission buses across England.
Through a partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority over the last nine months, Arriva’s UK Bus division has secured funding towards the purchase of 47 new electric double-decker buses for Wakefield. At the same time, a partnership bid with Hertfordshire County Council has resulted in funding for 27 single decker electric buses in Stevenage. In both regions, the ZEBRA funding also includes contributions towards the upgrade of depots and associated charging infrastructure.
Arriva’s MD of UK Bus, Paul O’Neil, says “We are thrilled to have successfully partnered with WYCA and HCC to win this significant ZEBRA funding. By working together on our shared commitments to a more sustainable future for transport we will accelerate the transition of our fleet in West Yorkshire and Hertfordshire, bringing benefits for our passengers, our clients and the environment.”
Arriva has previously supported other local authorities in securing funding in ZEBRA’s Fast Track round in 2021; partnering on successful bid applications with Milton Keynes, Kent and Leicester which could see a total of 105 electric buses implemented on Arriva routes throughout those regions by the end of 2023.
The ZEBRA funding covers 75% of the uplift in costs between diesel and electric vehicles and infrastructure, while Arriva will contribute the remaining 25%, along with 100% of the equivalent price of diesel buses.
The 74 new electric vehicles will also come with added benefits such as increased wheelchair space and hearing aid loops, providing not only improved environmental performance but also an improved experience for passengers.
Arriva has trialled and implemented various zero-emission and carbon-neutral technologies throughout its UK fleet over the last ten years and continues as part of delivering the best sustainable solutions. The new ZEBRA-funded vehicles will all be in operation within two years and in the meantime, Arriva continues to seek out and invest in its own sustainability agenda alongside that of its clients, partners and passengers.