First Leeds welcomes Metrodecker EV trial

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First Leeds has launched a trial of a fully-electric Optare Metrodecker EV.

The new vehicle, which will be serving the Park & Ride sites at Elland Road and Temple Green, is being trialled as part of First Leeds’s commitment to investing £71m in 284 new ultra-low emissions buses for the city.

Paul Matthews, Managing Director at First Leeds, commented: “As one of the major bus operators in Leeds, we understand the vital role we play in working with the Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Bus 18 initiative, to find solutions to reduce air pollution in the city.

“Allied to our commitment to invest in 284 new vehicles in Leeds with the latest engine technologies that significantly reduce pollutants, I’m thrilled to welcome the trial of a fully electric double-decker bus into the city.”

West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Chair, Cllr Keith Wakefield, said: “The Combined Authority is committed to improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions across West Yorkshire and is, through the Bus 18 initiative, working with the county’s main bus operators on the introduction of cleaner buses. I am pleased that this ground-breaking bus has been developed by a Leeds City Region company, Optare.”

Robert Drewery, Commercial Director, Optare, added: “After the success of the Optare electric Metrodecker trial in York I am delighted to see the bus being put through its paces once again in Leeds. The trial in York demonstrated the Metrodecker’s ability to carry out a day’s service without compromising passenger capacity or the need for opportunity charging. These trials are the first of a purpose-built electric double-deck bus outside London, and an important step forward in improving air quality in all our towns and cities.”

First Leeds will be holding customer consultation events across the city to allow its customers to feedback on the new designs and technologies that will be introduced on its new vehicles over the coming years.