Friday 12 July 2024
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Mansfield to get 23 new electric buses in £13 million investment

Mansfield is set to become a pioneer of clean and green public transport after a partnership between Nottinghamshire County Council, Stagecoach East Midlands and West Notts College.

The council secured £2.8 million from the government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA 2) programme fund earlier this year, which will now be handed over to Stagecoach to supplement their own £10.2 million investment in 23 new electric buses for the town.

Ten single deckers and 13 double deckers will replace older diesel buses on services 1, 6, 7 and 16 and are expected to be in service by 2026.

The electric buses will offer improved comfort, quality and accessibility for passengers, as well as reducing noise and air pollution.

Stagecoach East Midlands already operates two electric buses in Mansfield on behalf of the council on the 240 service, but this will be the first time that electric buses will run on commercially operated routes in the area.

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As part of the project, the council has also initiated a partnership between Stagecoach East Midlands and West Notts College, which will provide opportunities for students and staff to enhance their skills and careers in automotive engineering.

Students studying automotive engineering at the college will be able to complete work experience with Stagecoach’s expert engineers, increasing their chances of securing apprenticeships after their studies. Stagecoach staff will also benefit from education opportunities at the college, which will help them progress within the company.

Councillor Neil Clarke MBE, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Nottinghamshire County Council, said:

“We are delighted to partner with Stagecoach East Midlands and West Notts College on this project, which will not only benefit the environment and the health of our residents, but also create new opportunities for learning and skills development in the automotive sector.

“This is a fantastic achievement for Nottinghamshire and a major step towards our goal of becoming a net zero carbon county by 2050.

“It gives me great pleasure to hand over this cheque and demonstrate the council’s continued dedication to investing in sustainable transport and skills and supporting the green recovery of our economy.”

Matt Cranwell, Managing Director of Stagecoach East Midlands said:

“We are delighted to be involved in this investment in new electric buses to take public transport into the next era of cleaner, quieter, and more environmentally friendly service delivery.

“Buses underpin the local economy by providing essential transport connections for people to reach employment, education, healthcare and retail services, which makes investing in sustainable transport an important strategy for the future development of Mansfield.”

Gavin Peake, Director of IT, Estates and Learning Resources at West Nottinghamshire College, said:

“Our partnership with Stagecoach will provide students with significant work experience and opportunities to learn about the maintenance of electric vehicles in a workplace setting, preparing them to become the workforce of the future in these emerging technologies.

“This will increase the supply of quality applicants for Stagecoach to recruit as apprentices, while also supporting these skilled young people to gain relevant employment elsewhere within the transport and automotive sector.

“As an added benefit, the new electric buses will serve routes used by many of our students to get to and from college, using their West Notts College Travel Pass. Not only will this improve their journeys, but it will also provide reassurance that their mode of transport is better for the environment.”

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