By Charlotte Raymond
In attempts to promote an environmentally friendly approach towards public transport within England and Wales, the UK government has set aside a £48 million grant.
From the £48 million funding, approximately £8.5 million will be specifically utilised in order to establish the electric buses within Cardiff and also Caerphilly, an idea that was developed within a consultation, with the aspiration to improve the air quality within the city.
The funding for this project will be used in order to secure 36 electric buses for Cardiff, whilst Stagecoach (a bus operator within the South East Wales region), will have an additional 16 buses for their Caerphilly depot, which will therefore be operating around the South Wales region.
Nigel Winter, the managing director of Stagecoach within South Wales has highlighted the significance of bringing the electric buses to Wales, expressing: “it is part of a wider ambitious plan to create an all-electric passenger transport network for Caerphilly”.
The electric buses have been given the ‘green light’ after an electric bus trial within Cardiff in May 2018, which saw the trial scheme being hailed as a success. The introduction of these electric buses are identified as bringing many benefits, such as improving air quality and also reducing the amount of CO2 within the air. This undoubtedly will bring with it improvements to the health of individuals within the city.
Cardiff Council’s cabinet member for transport, Caro Wild, demonstrates his support for the scheme, saying: “the announcement is good news for Cardiff…and will help us deliver on our clean air ambitions for the city”.
Whilst these buses will be the first of their kind within Wales, the use of these buses have also been advocated by another major city within the UK – London. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced that London will witness a development within its zero-emissions public transport by adding a further 68 double decker electric buses to its fleet, supposedly within the next year.
The advancement of emission free transport is undeniably becoming a significantly supported idea within other parts of the UK, with Cardiff and Caerphilly leading the way for a greener approach to public transport within Wales.