Coventry to become UK’s first All Electric Bus City

[wlm_nonmember]
News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99.
[/wlm_nonmember]
National Express Coventry already operates 10 BYD ADL Enviro400EVs in the city. RICHARD SHARMAN

West Midlands Combined Authority has backed plans for Coventry to become the UK’s first all-electric bus city

Plans for Coventry to become the UK’s first All Electric Bus City have been backed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) leaders, meaning that every bus in the city will be electric by 2025. Approval from the WMCA Board means that £50 million Department for Transport (DfT) funding will now be handed to the region to deliver the project.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the WMCA, will work with bus operators to replace buses and install charging infrastructure on the city’s streets, including overhead charging points which will be available to all bus operators.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, Chair of the WMCA, said: “It took a lot of lobbying and persuading, but I am delighted we won the Government’s national competition to turn Coventry’s bus fleet all electric.

“It was great to welcome the Prime Minister to Coventry this week to talk about our all-electric plans, and crucially today’s confirmation by the WMCA board now unlocks his Government’s £50 million investment, meaning we can get on with rolling out the clean, green, electric buses onto the city’s roads.

“Not only will the clean bus fleet improve the public transport offering in Coventry, but it is also another step towards tackling the climate emergency and helping to attract people to leave their cars at home in favour of taking the bus.

“This is a great time for bus users in Coventry, with our newly refurbished Pool Meadow bus station, the trial of West Midlands On Demand buses serving the University of Warwick campus, as well our wider investment in fare-capping and better value fares, bus priority measures, real-time travel information and on board facilities like WiFi and USB charging. It is a bus revolution here in the West Midlands, and Coventry is right at the heart of it.”

Transport Minister, Baroness Vere, added: “Our £50m investment will see Coventry’s entire fleet of buses replaced with new, all-electric vehicles. This will have a profoundly positive effect on air quality and emissions in the area and reduce noise pollution. This government is committed to decarbonising the transport network across the UK, as we build back greener and strive to achieve net zero by 2050.”

Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council, said: “We have finally got this over the line after we were able to convince the government that this city is the ideal location and this will make a major dent in addressing air pollution.

“We already have a range of schemes to improve air quality and this will help exceed our targets. We have great working relations with bus companies in the city and these are exciting times for all of us. The hard work starts now.”

TfWM will lead the project in partnership with Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and local operators – who are together paying 25% of the added costs of employing electric vehicles over diesel ones.

At the time of going to press, CBW was still waiting for confirmation whether the Oxford bid was still going ahead.