The Go-Ahead Group’s largest electric bus operator is marking the addition of nine new Voltra-branded electric buses as it expands its electric bus fleet in the North East. The buses are the result of a £2 million investment with top-up funding from the Government’s Ultra-Low Emission Bus Fund, and form part of the operator’s commitment to a net zero fleet by 2035.
Go-North East’s new zero-emission buses are destined for its Q3 route which runs from Great Park to Wallsend via Newcastle city centre. The Voltra buses boast a range of on-board features to deliver what the firm calls a ‘bus of the future experience,’ including air conditioning, free WiFi, wireless and USB charging, phone holders and ‘tap-on tap-off’ contactless for passengers to pay for their travel through Google Pay or Apple Pay. The buses will be charged overnight at the company’s Riverside depot in Gateshead.
Go North East Managing Director Nigel Featham said: “Our Voltra buses run on electricity sourced with green credentials, but Voltra is far more than just an electric bus fleet. We’ve looked at every detail, working with Pelican Yutong and other suppliers, to maximise the use of technology and innovation. We’re providing high standards in bus travel including customer comfort, information, and ticketing.
“We hope that by adding to our zero-emission bus fleet, we can help flip the switch on people’s behaviour and see more people across our region leave the car behind to help reduce congestion on our roads and improve air quality for us all.”
Christian Schreyer, Go-Ahead Group CEO added: “The importance of sustainable travel is growing, reflecting trends in climate change, digitalisation, urbanisation, and demographics. There are increasing funding opportunities for bus lanes, traffic management and improvements to bus stops, helping to reduce journey times and improve the reliability of services. Go-Ahead sees opportunities to grow by encouraging people to leave their cars at home and improving our services to make bus travel more attractive for our customers. We’ve set ambitious, but deliverable, targets in our ‘Next Billion Journeys’ business strategy, and there is an exciting future for Go-Ahead.”