Guildford is leading the clean growth, transport revolution in becoming the first town in Surrey to have electric buses.
The nine electric buses will serve the park-and-ride route, connecting three car parks and the Spectrum leisure centre, with the town centre, operating six days a week, with service frequencies of between 10 and 15 minutes.
The zero-emission fleet were provided by the UK’s leading supplier of electric buses, the BYD ADL partnership and made by Alexander Dennis in Guildford. They will be operated by Stagecoach Group, one of the largest public transport operators in the UK.
Enterprise M3 LEP Head of Transport, Kevin Travers, attended the launch, and said: “This pioneering, clean growth solution for public transport is a great step forward and complements the new mobility element of our emerging Local Industrial Strategy. Enterprise M3 is actively seeking to support extraordinary innovation that will change the future of mobility, positioning our region at the forefront of the transport revolution.”
Arthur Whiteside, ADL’s Managing Director for UK Sales, added: "We are delighted to support Stagecoach South and Surrey County Council in their introduction of clean, zero emission buses. With passenger-centric interiors and excellent onboard amenities, they will further enhance the attractiveness of Guildford as a destination and place of employment in the regional economy."
Surrey County Council bid for the funds along with Stagecoach, Alexander Dennis Ltd and the University of Surrey.
Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Environment Mike Goodman said: “This is fantastic news for Guildford. Not only will the new park and ride fleet of buses be smoother and quieter, they will be much better for the environment while also bringing an economic boost to the county because local company Alexander Dennis is building them and using them will help to reduce congestion.
“Improving air quality by reducing vehicle emissions is a key priority for us and introducing Surrey’s first electric buses through securing £1.5 million in funding and Stagecoach’s generous contribution is just one piece of the jigsaw – we’ve also just outlined plans to help establish a comprehensive network of electric charging points and launched a drive to reduce pollution around schools.”
Speaking at the launch event in Guildford on January 7, BYD’s UK Country Manager, Frank Thorpe, said: "The entry into service of these vehicles means that our joint enterprise has now supplied advanced electric buses to the majority of the major bus operating groups in the UK and, as with all of our customers, we have been able to provide much more than the bus. Our knowhow has assisted in the provision of the necessary infrastructure, including BYD built chargers."