Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority and the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) have received the green light on ZEBRA funding – the Government’s Zero Emission Buses Regional Area initiative – to support the purchase of 30 new electric double-decker buses. The new fleet will serve the Park and Ride and Citi2 routes across Cambridge.
The combined authority is focused on improving air quality in central Cambridge which is a major Air Quality Management Zone (AQMZ). By concentrating use of the new zero-emission buses in this area, they believe they can have a significant impact on air quality which will bring associated health benefits and reduce carbon emissions. The introduction of the new electric fleet is expected to deliver a 40% reduction in air particulates in the city centre.
The ZEBRA grant will fund 21% of the project which includes purchasing the vehicles and installing a new depot charging infrastructure. Solar panels are also being installed at Babraham Park and Ride which will be used to support electric bus charging as well as car charging. The total cost of the project is £16.5M with the further cost being funded by Stagecoach, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority’s Transforming Cities Fund, and Greater Cambridge Partnership’s City Deal.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate – led by Baroness Brown – recommended that all bus services should aim to reach zero emissions by 2030. This forward-thinking initiative takes Cambridge a step closer to this ambitious target.
The 30 zero-carbon vehicles will be delivered in 2022, and the new fleet of electric buses is expected to go into service late in the year.
Develop a lifetime plan – We have developed a whole life plan for each of the buses and how they are going to be used in the future – creating a simplified and future-proofed infrastructure. Technology is changing all the time and it’s important to think beyond immediate need. Our approach is cautiously optimistic, we want to move with the technology while also ensuring we are serving the community efficiently and effectively.
Roadside emissions testing.