Portsmouth City Council have been awarded £6.5 million as part of the National Bus Strategy, for the funding of zero emissions buses as part of their partnership with First Solent and Hampshire County Council, which will see electric buses on Hampshire streets for the first time.
This Zero Emission Buss Regional Area (ZEBRA) award will make a significant contribution to moving towards Net Zero to tackle the climate emergency that Portsmouth City Council declared in 2019.
Portsmouth and Hampshire are just one of twelve areas awarded packages to deliver electric and hydrogen buses, as well as charging and fuelling infrastructure. This is in addition to the implementation of the Bus Service Improvement Plans already announced.
The 34 new electric buses will replace the current diesel fleet seen on the roads at present. The new buses will operate across the Gosport, Fareham and Portsmouth areas and will support air quality improvements on routes that travel through four of Portsmouth's air pollution hot spots.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said: "I was so excited to hear our bid had been successful and we can start providing zero emissions buses in Portsmouth. This marks a significant milestone for our city in creating cleaner travel for all."She adds: "I also eagerly await the funding announcement from Government in response to our Bus Service Improvement Plan. If successful, we will be able to transform our bus services so that residents and those coming to our city to work, study and visit have an affordable, reliable and better-connected bus service. I hope over time with all of these improvements we can support more people to leave their car at home and hop on a bus. This will improve air quality and make our city a better place for everyone to enjoy."