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Backing plans for eco-friendly buses for Earley

Backing plans for eco-friendly buses for Earley

23 July 2021
RB 21 claret.png

Wokingham Borough Council is backing Reading Buses and Reading Borough Council in a bid to bring zero emissions vehicles to routes in and around the area. 

The plans include an allocation of zero emissions buses for the Claret 21 service between Lower Earley and Reading.


It’s part of Reading Borough Council’s bid to the Department for Transport’s for the Zero Emission Bus Regional Area Scheme (ZEBRA). 

The bid, led by Reading Borough Council and to be delivered by Reading Buses, hopes to provide 59 zero emission vehicles to be operated on local bus routes in the greater Reading travel to work area.

Cutting congestion and carbon emissions


Provision of high quality electric bus services will enable residents to choose a lower carbon transport option for their trips into Reading and help reduce congestion on Wokingham Borough’s roads.


The 21 claret service covers almost 500,000km each year. If the bid is successful and the service was switched to zero emissions buses, it would save at least 300 tonnes of carbon a year.


Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport, said: “The project will contribute to the continued economic recovery and growth of our borough and across the region. The vehicles allocated for our area, if the bid is successful, will help to cut carbon emissions while keeping our communities connected.


“Reading Buses have been very successful in introducing low carbon technologies, and we are

keen to see this continue to the next level. We wish our partners every success in this bid and look forward to continuing to work together for the benefit of climate change, air quality and sustainable travel across our borough and the Thames Valley region.”

'We should lead by example and cut our carbon footprint'

Robert Williams, chief executive officer at Reading Buses, said: “Electric technology is reaching a point where we can see that some urban services could reliably be converted to battery electric vehicles in the near future.


“Switching from private vehicles to public transport of any fuel type makes the biggest difference to overall carbon emissions - and congestion, but it is also important for us to lead by example and continue reducing our own carbon footprint. We welcome this bid to enable that switch to take place.”


The ZEBRA scheme will provide up to £120 million for local transport authorities (LTAs), outside London, to support the introduction of zero-emission buses and the infrastructure needed to support them. 

This funding will support the introduction of the 4,000 zero-emission buses across the country.

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