First Bus and Norfolk County Council invited residents to come and look around the zero-emissions vehicles and ask the experts any questions they had, take part in activities and win prizes.
This event came in advance of the vehicles going into service in Norwich over the coming weeks, and is part of a wider project to fully electrify First Bus’ Roundtree Way depot, replacing its diesel vehicles with 70 electric vehicles by March 2024.
The introduction of the new vehicles will mean that by 2024 over half of the Norwich network operated by First Bus will be electric. That is over 60% of all bus journeys through Castle Meadow in the city centre.
Piers Marlow, Managing Director of First Eastern Counties, said: “This is an exciting project that will not only have significant environmental benefits for Norwich, but will also improve the journey experience for our customers.
"Residents were invited to come along to the Forum and take a look at the new vehicles for themselves, and we look forward to rolling them out onto the network over the coming months.”
The new buses will give a significant boost to the city’s sustainability credentials and mean cleaner air for residents and visitors, as they produce zero tailpipe emissions. The buses will also offer users a quieter and smoother ride, and include free WiFi and USB chargers.
To fund the purchase of the vehicles, First Bus and Norfolk County Council secured an investment of £14.7m from the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) government funding. The grant is matched with around £23m of funding by First Bus.
Cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport Graham Plant said: “The arrival of these buses is an extraordinary boost to our ambitions to run a net-zero transport system in Norfolk and I am excited to see the first buses out in service very soon. The support that First Bus has shown for this project demonstrates the excellent working relationship we have with our bus operators here in Norfolk and how working together can help to achieve the very best for our County.”
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