Reading secures funding for first zero-emission buses

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Municipal operator Reading Buses will take delivery of its first electric buses next year, the first of which are destined for route 17. READING BUSES

Two of Reading Buses’ most popular routes will be served by the town’s first battery-electric bus fleet following a successful bid for funding by the city council and operator Reading Buses, which will deliver £4.7m from the Zero Emissions Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) fund. The money will see the delivery of 24 electric double-deck buses on the town’s routes 17 and 21 and the installation of charging infrastructure at Reading Buses’ Great Knollys Street depot. The electric buses are expected to enter service in the next two years.

Assistant Director for Planning, Transport and Public Protection at Reading Borough Council James Crosbie said: “The introduction of 24 electric buses to Reading is very exciting and highlights our commitment to improving air quality and the health of residents in the borough. The Council’s £26m Bus Service Improvement Plan has already made travelling by bus easier and cheaper and introduced new, convenient bus routes for residents. New bus lanes will make getting around the borough on public transport even faster and more reliable.

“These electric buses will help reduce carbon emissions in built up residential areas and supports our aim for Reading to be net zero carbon by 2030.”

Chief Executive Officer of Reading Buses Robert Williams added: “We are delighted to have secured this funding to enhance our fleet with zero-emission vehicles, which will provide even quieter, smoother journeys for our customers, and demonstrate the significant environmental benefits of switching to public transport. We hope that this will be yet another reason for people to give our service a try, helping to encourage a reduction in private car emissions and congestion, both of which have such a significant impact on all the residents of the town.”