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West Northamptonshire wins bid for electric buses

22 March 2024

People sitting and standing inside a bus

Northampton will soon see new electric buses thanks to £9.4m from the Government.

Northampton will soon benefit from around £9.4m Government investment into electric buses as part of a more sustainable public transport network. 

The Department for Transport (DfT) today announced it was awarding £9,365,523 to West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and Stagecoach as part of its Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas 2, (ZEBRA 2), initiative. 

Introduction of electric buses onto the Stagecoach network will help reduce carbon emissions and pollution in Northampton, which currently has six Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). 

The 51 new buses will cover a variety of routes across Northampton including Ecton Brook, Kingsthorpe, Duston and Camp Hill. 

This is fantastic news for our residents.

Securing this funding is a brilliant achievement and I’m extremely grateful to the team, including Stagecoach, who put the bid together and to the Government for this vital funding.

Electric buses are not cheap, and the costs are such that Stagecoach would not have been able to invest to this level without support.

This will be a real game-changer in our work towards net zero and improving sustainability across West Northamptonshire.
Cllr Phil Larratt, WNC Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste

The project is expected to save 76,708 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and reduce nitrogen oxides emissions by 27 tonnes over a 17-year period. 

The new buses and charging infrastructure costing around £28m will now be commissioned and should join the Stagecoach fleet by late 2026. 

We welcome the announcement of funding to West Northamptonshire for investment in new zero-emission buses.

This is a really positive step forward in helping to reduce carbon emissions and deliver cleaner air for those in our communities, building on the funding already made available to support bus services through the £2 fare cap.

We look forward to working with West Northamptonshire Council and partners to deliver our ambitions for a thriving bus service that supports local communities.
Mark Whitelock, Managing Director of Stagecoach Midlands

The buses will also meet the latest accessibility standards set out by the DfT, including additional wheelchair and pushchair space, and induction loops for those with hearing loss. 

Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) 2 funding totalling £143m has been confirmed for 25 schemes across the country and the West Northamptonshire award was among the largest. 

As part of our plan to improve local transport in the East Midlands, we’re providing over £25 million to roll out 177 brand new zero-emission buses across the region.

This latest investment into our bus fleet comes on top of the £3.5 billion we have invested into our bus network since 2020, protecting and improving bus routes into 2025 as well as extending the £2 bus fare cap until the end of 2024, made possible by reallocated HS2 funding.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper


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