Electric bus to spark future for Shropshire public transport
Shropshire's first electric bus will take to the streets to this week and will soon join Shrewsbury's Park & Ride fleet.
The bus will be unveiled at Shirehall tomorrow and forms part of Shropshire Council's bid to introduce more sustainable transport in the county.
The council agreed in June to improve the county's transport system and the introduction of the new bus is the first step.
If the bus is successful, the council plans to introduce a further electric bus on the 436 Bridgnorth to Shrewsbury route.
Council officers have visited other town's in the Midlands to see how a passenger-led smart app works.
The ArrivaClick smartphone app enables customers to request a smart minibus from their pick up point at a time they want and to a destination of their choosing, their journey will then be matched with other people heading towards the same destination.
Simon Harris, Shropshire Council’s deputy Cabinet member for public transport, said: “At Cabinet in June we said we wanted to provide people with the best possible public transport service, one that meets the needs of passengers and the local economy – and we promised that people would soon start to see positive changes.
“We’re currently developing a transport vision and strategy for Shropshire that will encapsulate all forms of transport, including public transport and Park & Ride.
"As part of this, and in line with the council’s recent declaration of a climate emergency, we’re looking at the introducing more sustainable transport. The introduction of electric buses is an important first step and I’m delighted that, within weeks of the Cabinet meeting, we’re welcoming Shropshire’s first-ever electric bus.
“To start with we are going to use it on the Park and Ride in Shrewsbury, and we’ll see how it gets on in the town and what the reaction is from the public. I would consider that the next step would possibly be to introduce an electric bus for the 436, Bridgnorth to Shrewsbury service. Out of all our services this is the one we need to revamp and make more sustainable and efficient.
“We’re also looking at best practice in other areas of the country. Earlier this week I spent time looking at the new ArrivaClick on-demand bus service that is being operated in Leicester and other parts of the UK. I was impressed by its capabilities and this is something else that we will definitely be looking at as we roll out better services across the county.”