Local bus operator, Stagecoach Bluebird, has today confirmed which routes will soon be operated using a brand new fleet of fully electric buses.
The £11.2m investment in 22 electric buses for Aberdeen has been supported by £4m from the Scottish Government Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme.
The fleet of 22 electric buses will be based at the Tullos depot and will bring a breath of fresh air to high frequency routes in Aberdeen. The double deck buses will be built at the Alexander Dennis factory in Falkirk before arriving in Aberdeen to power up the bus service in Aberdeen. Not only will the fleet reduce CO2 levels in the city but they are also low-floor easy-access and will be fitted with eleather seats – a material made entirely from recycled leather.
Service 727 connecting the city centre to P&J Live and Aberdeen Airport will soon be operated by the electric fleet. Service 727 operates up to every 10 minutes through the week and was also crowned the ‘Best Bus Service in Scotland’ in 2017.
Service 59 will also welcome the brand new fleet to the route. Service 59 connects Balnagask with the city centre, ARI and Northfield. Service 59 was one of the first routes in Scotland to be operated using electric-hybrid buses, the hybrid fleet originally launched in 2012 will soon be replaced by the new larger zero emissions buses.
Peter Knight, managing director at Stagecoach Bluebird said: “We are all really excited to welcome the electric buses to our Aberdeen fleet. Sustainable transport is critical to the future of our planet: decarbonising local journeys, reducing road congestion, improving air quality and tackling climate change. Travelling by bus, when we can, is one of the easiest ways to address climate change through carbon reduction of our own journeys.
“Major investment in new zero-emission buses also needs to be matched by better road infrastructure and more bus priority measures to help encourage people to make the switch from car to sustainable public transport.”
Nick Waight, managing director at P&J Live said: “Increasingly, event organisers are looking for opportunities to offset any carbon footprint that they might incur when organising and attending a live event in Aberdeen. P&J Live is in a league of its own in terms of its own sustainability, with its very own energy centre that uses food and garden waste from around Aberdeen to power, cool and heat the venue and the two on-site hotels. This has meant we were able to achieve an excellent rating in BREEAM for the highest possible environmental standard.
“Welcoming new electric Stagecoach busses to our regular bus route is a fantastic asset to add to our green credentials, while upholding Aberdeen as environmentally conscious destination. We can’t wait to see them in use at the turn of the year.”
Mark Beveridge, operations director at Aberdeen Airport, said: “The news that Stagecoach will introduce new electric buses to the popular 727 Jet service between the city centre and the airport is a welcome move.
“Earlier this summer we set out our Sustainability Strategy with the ambitious target to decarobonise our own infrastructure by mid 2030s and support the wider aviation sector to achieve net zero by 2045.
“To do this will require collective effort throughout the wider transport industry and it is through partnership working such as this that we can respond to the most fundamental challenge of our time – the climate emergency.”
The electric buses are set to join the Stagecoach Bluebird fleet early in 2022.
Scotland’s Climate Week (Sept 13-19) marks six weeks to go until the 26th UN Climate Change Conference - COP26.