Communities to benefit from £13.5m investment in greener buses

27 May 2013  •  Source: Stagecoach

Stagecoach confirmed today (27 May 2013) that it is to make a multi-million-pound investment in dozens of hybrid electric and biomethane gas buses for its operations in Manchester and Sunderland.

The £13.5 million investment is part-funded by grants totalling £2.3 million from the latest round of allocations from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Green Bus Fund.

A fleet of 38 ADL Enviro 400 hybrid electric double-decker buses, costing £10.5 million, will go into service in Manchester by 2014.

It will bring the number of hybrid electric buses operated by Stagecoach in Manchester to 128 – the biggest fleet of buses using this state-of-the-art technology in the UK outside London.

Seventeen Scania/ADL Enviro 300 single-decker biomethane gas buses are to be introduced in Sunderland at a cost of £3 million.

The DfT has awarded a total of £12 million in grants from the fourth round of its Green Bus Fund. It will help fund 213 new greener buses, which include electric, hybrid electric and gas vehicles. Four rounds of the DfT’s Green Bus Fund have offered a total of £87 million in grants towards the purchase of more than 1200 new low carbon buses in England, saving around 28,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

The government is paying up to half the cost difference between low carbon diesel-hybrid and biomethane gas buses and their standard diesel equivalent.

Robert Montgomery, Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: “Stagecoach is already the leading bus operator investor in low-carbon hybrid electric buses in the UK, with more than 230 in service across the country. These have been manufactured in the UK, helping support British jobs.

“We are delighted to have received support funding from the latest round of the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund. It helps meet the £100,000 gap between the cost of a standard bus and those equipped with hybrid electric technology.

“The new hybrid electric buses for Manchester will mean we will run the biggest fleet of buses using this state-of-the-art technology in any city in the UK outside London.

“We are also pleased that our customers in Sunderland will benefit from new biomethane gas buses, which will have lower carbon emissions and help deliver a better living environment for local people.

“Sustainability is at the heart of our business and buses play a vital role in supporting the economy, keeping communities connected and meeting the country’s environmental challenges. We are committed to investing in cleaner, greener vehicles for our passengers and reducing our own carbon footprint as a business.”

Stagecoach Group, which operates around 13,000 buses and trains in the UK and North America, has purchased more than 230 hybrid-electric vehicles for its bus operations in Britain in the past two years.

There are already 90 in service in Manchester, 40 in Sheffield, 31 in London, 26 in Oxford, 26 in Newcastle, 10 in Aberdeen, and nine in Perth. A further three are going into service in Aberdeen by spring 2014, backed by the Scottish Government’s Green Bus Fund.

Stagecoach Group has met its current five-year carbon reduction targets 12 months ahead of schedule, achieving an overall absolute reduction of 8% in emissions from buildings and a cut of 3% in annual emissions per vehicle mile from fleet transport. Compared to the size of its global operations, Stagecoach has cut the carbon impact (kg CO2 per £ of turnover) of its business in the UK and North America by more than 20% in the past four years.

Earlier this year, figures compiled as part of the Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme showed that Stagecoach Group is among the top 10% of large companies in the UK for its performance in reducing the carbon emissions from its business.

The Group’s strategy has been supported by an £11million green investment programme. Employee initiatives and eco teams set up by staff have also helped drive dramatic improvements in energy and carbon efficiency. Last year, Stagecoach Group also retained the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard for its action on carbon reduction.

To maintain the momentum of the Group’s programme, work is now underway to develop a new five-year strategy. This will include identifying further cost-effective energy-saving opportunities, continuing investment to make the business greener, and setting new targets around carbon reduction and water consumption.

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