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Rebecca Wayman

'Futuristic' electric buses set to hit Newcastle and Gateshead

Following an announcement by the Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani MP, bus operator Go North East and Nexus the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive, have been awarded funding from the government’s Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme.

The scheme helps bus operators and local authorities to adopt the latest green vehicle technologies by assisting with the extra capital cost of the vehicles and setting up depot infrastructure such as re-charging stations.

Go North East and Nexus’ bid will see nine full electric zero emission buses enter service in the region, the first of their kind.

Go North East’s managing director, Martin Gilbert, said: “Buses are a really important part of keeping our towns and cities moving, reducing congestion and improving air quality.

“We’re therefore delighted to receive this funding to help support our investment in the introduction of full electric, zero emission buses that will make travelling by bus in the North East even greener.

“These buses will build on our existing investment which has already seen over 170 low emission buses join our fleet in recent years, as well as an ongoing programme supported by local partners to upgrade the engine emission standards of much of our existing fleet.”

The buses will form a key part of Go North East’s ongoing work with partners to improve air quality, further enhancing the already good per passenger journey emissions of bus use, and will be the first latest generation full electric buses capable of all day service to operate in North East England.

They will be deployed in service between Newcastle and Gateshead operating over the Tyne Bridge, a major Air Quality hot spot.

Overnight electric charging infrastructure will be installed at Go North East’s Gateshead Riverside depot, where the buses will be based.

The final details of the chosen route and bus type are now being finalised following the successful bid announcement.

The vehicles, and associated in-depot charging infrastructure, are expected to be live by early 2020.

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