Rotala plans carbon-reducing investment

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Rotala expects its new Custom Denning electric buses to be in service around Heathrow by the middle of the year. ROTALA

Rotala has unveiled plans for carbon reduction across its operations, including the delivery of new Custom Denning electric buses for use on routes serving Heathrow airport

Rotala Limited, previously Rotala Group, is planning to make what it says will be huge strides towards reducing the carbon footprint of its services over the next 12 months, through a combination of business investment and the assistance of Government funding though the ZEBRA2 scheme.

Working in close partnership with several local councils, Rotala and a number of local transport authorities have applied for a number of ZEBRA funding awards which will enable the business to deliver benefits to its users and stakeholders. Rotala says the award of the funding opportunities will enable it to invest in new vehicles across its group businesses including: 14 new electric buses for Diamond Bus in the West Midlands for use on its services 4H and 45, 10 new electric buses for Preston Bus in Lancashire, for services 19 and 100, and six electric buses for Diamond East Midlands services 8 & 9 in Staffordshire and south Derbyshire; the operator says that the introduction of electric buses on these routes would contribute to a carbon saving of 8,692 tonnes CO2e in Staffordshire alone.

Subject to funding, Rotala also plans to directly finance the acquisition of additional new vehicles including approximately 15 Euro VI minibuses for the Midlands region, which it says have been identified through previous operations to be beneficial when operating on urban, demand responsive and lower volume routes.

The much awaited production of three new electric buses by Australian manufacturer Custom Denning has already been completed, Rotala reports, having released images of the buses leaving the manufacturer’s factory. The buses are expected to be delivered and operational on bus routes around Heathrow Airport as early as the middle of the year. With ZEBRA funding also covering upgrades to depots to develop the necessary infrastructure to support these zero emission vehicles, Rotala also plans the introduction of solar panels and electrical charging point upgrades to both its Burton and Tividale depots, and the modernisation of the historic Deepdale Road depot in Preston, which it says will bring new, efficient upgrades to the building. “If successful with our ZEBRA bid, we would additionally improve the electrical infrastructure here too,” the group says.

CEO of Rotala Limited Simon Dunn said, “By making bus services a much more desirable alternative to the car, we can achieve the much-needed modal shift that our towns and cities need to meet carbon reduction targets and reduce congestion on our roads today. The award of government funding would mean that as a business, we could forge ahead with our key goals of bringing cleaner and greener bus services to the local communities we serve.”