Low emission buses launched in the Lakes
Nine new double-decker vehicles which represent an investment by Stagecoach of £3 million are being introduced this week in Cumbria, boasting significantly cleaner engines which will help cut carbon emissions throughout the county.
The new buses were launched by Stagecoach at Low Wood Bay hotel at Windermere and invited guests got to see how the new buses benefit from tables on the top deck, USB charging ports at every seat and next stop announcements.
Westmorland MP Tim Farron helped launch the buses and praised Stagecoach’s investment, adding: “These buses are comfortable and environmentally friendly and should help boost confidence in public transport in Cumbria, helping us get towards net zero.
“We need public transport to be affordable and there to be more of it, but if we have better quality vehicles like this it will encourage more people to use it and hopefully play a part in reducing congestion in the Lakes.”
Rob Jones, managing director for Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire, said: “We are delighted to be announcing these nine new low-emission vehicles which represent a significant investment in our services for the local community. We are also pleased to have had a really good year of progress against our sustainability strategy, in particular the order for our new low emission buses in Kendal.
“Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, and the specific pressures that are being faced in the public transport sector, as the country’s biggest bus and coach operator, Stagecoach is continuing to play a leading role in decarbonising the sector and we are working hard towards our target to become a net zero business by 2050 with a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035.
“Our services are critical to rebuilding the country’s economy and levelling up communities. As well as the steps we are taking to decarbonise our own business, it is equally important for national and local government and transport operators to work together to maximise the benefits of the bus to meet the country’s aspirations of a net zero future.”
The group of invited guests attending the launch were taken by bus to Grasmere where they were treated to gifts from the Grasmere Gingerbread Company, among them was Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, who said: “It’s brilliant to see this significant investment in our public transport services – it’s really important that families and people visiting the Lakes use public transport and these buses with their tables and comfortable seats will give them the experience to encourage them to do that.”
Stagecoach is also in the process of introducing new electric engineering vans to support its fleet maintenance.
Other steps to help reduce the company’s carbon footprint have led to all the fluorescent tube lighting in the Carlisle depot being replaced with new LED units, as well as the introduction of motion sensor-enabled units with auto dimming function to help reduce energy usage.
The report details a programme of improvements delivered in 2021-2022 against Stagecoach’s Planet, People, Prosperity and Governance targets. It includes a package of capital investment in new cleaner buses, measures to improve energy efficiency as well as improvements and investment for Stagecoach employees and local communities.