Fresh wave of electric buses to hit Leeds in welcome boost to lowering carbon emissions and net-zero plans

Plans to increase the number of electric buses in West Yorkshire to help lower carbon emissions have been approved at the recent meeting of the Combined Authority.

By Alex Grant
Monday, 27th June 2022, 4:30 pm

The new vehicles would be part of the West Yorkshire Zero Emission bus programme and replace older, more polluting diesel vehicles.

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New electric charging facilities in the region’s bus depots and charging points on bus routes are also planned as part of the scheme.

New electric charging facilities in the region’s bus depots and charging points on bus routes are also planned as part of the scheme.

The programme would be delivered in three phases with the first introducing 111 electric buses in Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield.

It has the potential to reduce carbon emissions in the region by between 12,000 and 17,000 tonnes per year, during the lifetime of the electric buses compared to diesel vehicles.

At its meeting in Leeds on Thursday (June 23), the Combined Authority agreed to begin work on the final business case for the West Yorkshire Zero Emission bus programme, and agreed to indicatively allocate £50m towards the scheme, subject to final approval.

“This agreement on the plans for more zero-emission buses in our region is a hugely positive step in our vital work to reduce carbon emissions and reach our target of net-zero by 2038," said, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire.

“And it’s made even more important by recent figures which showed that one in 22 deaths in our region is due to poor air quality."

Meanwhile, £6.5 million of funding for a training scheme which will help more adults learn higher-level skills for better jobs has also been approved by the Combined Authority.

The scheme is the latest phase of the Skills Connect programme and will benefit 4,500 people in West Yorkshire up to March 2025.

This new Level three training – equivalent to A Level - has been designed after consultation with businesses in the region and will therefore help respond to current recruitment needs and tackle skills shortages.

It will support people to move to better jobs or make more progress within their current roles and will also help improve business productivity. The scheme is flexible and can respond to changes in the region’s labour market.

Via work with local authority partners, training opportunities will be made available to communities across West Yorkshire who are currently underrepresented in skilled jobs, including older people.