ADL supplies new buses for Cornish network

Bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis has announced that will supply 92 new buses to Go-Ahead’s Go Cornwall Bus operation.

Go Cornwall Bus launched operations on the revamped Transport for Cornwall tendered bus network at the end of March, less than three months after the contract award was announced.

Faced with a short mobilisation period and a substantially increased vehicle requirement, the operator ordered 92 new buses from ADL. The order comprises 44 new Enviro200 single deckers, all of which were delivered in time for the start of the contract, with a further 48 buses, including 17 Enviro400 double deckers, to following in the coming months.

These were initially expected by June but their completion may be delayed by the temporary suspension of production at ADL’s British manufacturing sites in response to government advice on social distancing.

“With tight timescales for the contract the two biggest worries would be getting enough drivers and buses,” said Richard Stevens, managing director of Go Cornwall Bus and Plymouth Citybus. “The deal for 92 new buses eased the stain of the second, although a huge amount of work has gone into getting a brand new fleet on the road for the 29th March 2020.

“With the reduction in service due to COVID-19, we have managed to not use any borrowed buses, but go live with what is a brand new fleet. We look forward to phase two and for Transport for Cornwall having the newest fleet in the country.”


All-Electric Bus Town Scheme bid extension

The Department for Transport has announced the deadline for expressions of interest in the All-Electric Bus Town scheme has been extended from April 30 to June 4.

£50m has been made available to develop an all-electric bus town or city that
would see an entire place’s bus fleet changed over to vehicles that are fully electric, or capable of operating in electric, zero-emission mode.

The DfT expects to announce the towns or cities that have been shortlisted in the summer. These bids will then be assessed in more detail for potential
funding support.

The scheme aims to allow the government to assess what impact the changes will have on the number of people using buses, and in particular where this has resulted in modal shift from cars.


DEFRA postpones plans to launch Clean Air Zones

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced it is postponing the introduction of all Clean Air Zones until at least January 2021, enabling businesses to focus on work and response efforts during the covid-19 pandemic.

It follows calls from councils in Birmingham and Leeds, which had been due to implement their charging Clean Air Zones this summer after their launch in January was postponed. Both councils had expressed concerns over the impact of the schemes for those struggling during the epidemic.

The move to postpone all schemes until next year was outlined in a letter from Rebecca Pow, minister for environment, food and rural affairs to the Freight Transport Association.