Stagecoach Confirms Plans to Increase Electric Bus Fleet by over 80% as new Report Details “Year of Progress” on Company’s Journey to Net Zero

Britain’s biggest bus operator to increase number of e-buses from 184 to 343 in next 12 months

UK’s first all-electric bus city networks set to go live in Inverness and Perth in 2023

32% reduction in carbon emissions per passenger journey in 2021-22

Stagecoach greener public transport services help customers avoid 20,000 tonnes of CO2e

100% renewable electricity used across the business

Stagecoach has confirmed today (28 November 2022) that it is planning to increase its electric bus fleet by over 80% across the country in the next 12 months as it continues its journey towards becoming a net zero business. Passengers in Inverness will see more electric buses, and the launch of the first UK’s all-electric city bus network during 2023.

New e-buses will run across routes that have previously operated with largely diesel fleets, helping to drive cleaner air in this major city.

The vehicles are partly funded by the Scottish Government through the Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB), designed to support the transition to zero-emission technologies as part of Scotland’s overall target to achieve net zero by 2045.

The £9.1m investment in Inverness will see a fleet of 25 new electric midibuses introduced from late 2022 across routes 1-9, replacing the city’s diesel bus fleet.

The country’s biggest bus and coach operator has published a new report outlining progress in 2021-2022 against the strategy it launched last year, Driving Net Zero: Better Places to Live and Work,that set out the steps it would take on the journey to become a net zero business.

The report details a programme of improvements delivered in 2021-2022 against its 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.

Key highlights Stagecoach has delivered across the whole country during the year include:

Protecting the planet

  • Delivered an overall 32% reduction in scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per passenger journey.
  • Helped customers avoid nearly 20,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by providing them with more sustainable travel, rather than taking the car.
  • Introduced 100% renewable electricity across the business, with new energy saving lighting in place in some locations.
  • Achieved management ‘B’ rating in benchmark assessment from CDP, above the average for the road transport sector.
  • Recycling mobile devices which has helped to fund the planting of over 3,000 trees.
  • Opening of a sustainable new £7m depot in Cwmbran in South Wales, which features a water recycling system, electric charging bays, intelligent heating, solar panels and a grass roof for rainwater harvesting.

Investing in the health, safety and wellbeing of employees and customers

  • The first bus operator to introduce low bridge alert technology across its fleet of 4,000 double decker buses.
  • New employee networks in place as part of diversity and inclusion plans, giving employees the chance to help shape the agenda and bring about lasting change.
  • Investment in company’s first ever Head of Sustainability and Inclusion & Culture Partner.

Caring for local communities

  • Stagecoach ‘Giving for Good’ initiative launched to support charities and community causes, with new partnerships with four national charities and supporting hundreds of local charities.
  • New UK customer contact centre opened in Perth creating 60 new jobs.

Earlier this year, Stagecoach launched a sector-leading report which demonstrated the importance of government funding to match operator investment in new zero emission buses, read the report here.

This was followed by further research published this month showing how national and local government policies can help to deliver modal shift from the car to more sustainable travel, helping people to save thousands of pounds and deliver reduced carbon emissions. Both reports have been welcomed by the Department for Transport, Scottish Government, Campaign for Better Transport and customer watchdog, Transport Focus.

Stagecoach is continuing with its plans to target a zero emission UK bus fleet by 2035, and has introduced new electric buses across many parts of the country, including one of Europe’s biggest investment in e-buses in Manchester.

David Beaton, Managing Director for Stagecoach Highlands, said: “We know there is still a lot of work to be done, but we are pleased to have had a really good year of progress against our sustainability strategy, and we look forward to the introduction of one of the UK’s first all-electric city bus networks in Inverness next year. 

“Despite the challenging macro-economic 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.

“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 as 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.”

Find a copy of Stagecoach’s report, Our Sustainability Journey, here.

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