Oxford City Council has said that part of the £1.7m retrofit funding won from the recently announced Clean Bus Technology Fund will be used to introduce the first fully-electric double-decker buses to Oxford later this year.
The funding will retrofit five of the city’s open-top sightseeing buses to become fully electric, with a further 78 local buses receiving Euro 6 retrofits. The electric buses are expected to enter service later this year.
The City Council worked with Oxford Bus Company, which also owns City Sightseeing Oxford, and Stagecoach in Oxfordshire – on the funding bid. The operators will carry out the retrofitting.
The funding will be allocated over the next 15 months, with £938,910 given in 2017/18 and £724,020 in 2018/19.
Oxford Bus Company Managing Director, Phil Southall, said: “This is excellent news for the city of Oxford and is the result of key stakeholders working together to unlock crucial Government funding for the wider benefit of the community we all serve. This is the first step in a long progress towards introducing ultra-low or zero emission buses more widely within Oxford.
“We are particularly pleased that we have been successful in our bid to upgrade five of our City Sightseeing Oxford Buses to full electric operation. These will allow us to gain experience of this developing technology”
Martin Sutton, Managing Director of Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, said: “I am delighted that Oxford City Council’s bid has been successful.
“Most of our buses on Oxford city routes are fairly new and are either electric hybrid powered or already comply with the latest emissions standards.
“This funding will enable us to upgrade the rest of our Oxford city fleet to the highest Euro 6 standard. As well as further reducing our NOx and other emissions, we hope to be able to persuade even more people to make cleaner, greener journeys by bus”