The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has announced an 815,000 GBP investment to establish a national Bus Centre of Excellence that will upskill and recruit professionals, alongside 3 million GBP to purchase new electric buses in Leicester.
The Bus Centre of Excellence will leverage expertise from local governments, bus operators and industry professionals.
Hosted by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, it will provide training opportunities, access to resources and industry experts and networking events.
This initiative aims to produce a new generation of professionals to help develop more reliable, affordable and cleaner bus services in line with the government’s National Bus Strategy.
In addition, the Bus Centre of Excellence will complement the continued decarbonisation of the national bus fleet.
To support this goal, the government has confirmed 3 million GBP in funding for 18 new electric buses. These vehicles will be manufactured in Northern Ireland by Wrightbus and will be operated by First Bus in Leicester.
With this latest investment, Leicester will have benefitted from 22 million GBP in the Zero Emission Buses Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme for the procurement of 114 electric buses.
Roads Minister Richard Holden said:
“Buses are the backbone of our transport network, providing affordable travel for commuters, families, and pensioners, and providing an economic lifeline for towns and cities around the country.
“This multimillion investment for Leicester’s clean transformation, coupled with the new Bus Centre of Excellence, will help drive the country’s bus sector recovery and provide passengers with cleaner, more affordable buses that run on time.”