Work has been underway to turn Norwich buses green and transform a city site into one of the first bus depots outside London to be fully electric.
UK Power Networks is installing new underground cables and equipment at a local substation so that the Roundtree Way depot can be fully upgraded to power electric buses, cut carbon emissions and improve air quality in the city.
The project is part of its Green Recovery programme, which is investing £66 million across 85 sites, to fast-track low carbon energy projects that will help the UK achieve net zero by 2050.
The work will enable First Bus to run 70 new electric buses in Norwich by the end of March next year.
First Bus has already started transforming its depot. Piers Marlow, Managing Director of First East of England, says, “The electrification of Roundtree Way is a critical part of the project that will see 70 new electric buses serving Norwich.
“The electric buses will not only improve the journey experience for our customers, they will significantly reduce carbon emissions, each saving up to 60 tonnes per year, and will improve air quality for the city, creating a cleaner, greener environment for people to live, work and enjoy.”
The green power upgrade will involve some roadworks in nearby roads from 18 October until the project is completed around 8 December, so that the work can be completed safely. Residents have been informed of the temporary measures.
Councillor Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport, says, “UK Power Networks’ essential upgrade work will support the rollout needed for 70 new electric buses between now and next March. Working with First Bus and UK Power Networks, this paves the way for us to become home to one of only three all-electric fleet depots in the UK outside London and is an amazing boost to our ambitions to run a net zero transport system in Norfolk.
“We understand how frustrating disruption caused by roadworks can be, especially for those living or working in the immediate area. Keeping this in mind, we will continue to work hard with our contractors and partners to minimise any additional impact alongside the important safety improvements to the Heartsease roundabout area and to complete all work as soon as possible.”