The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

New electric buses to hit city’s streets


Afleet of fully electric buses are set to hit the streets of Dundee later this year – and we have an exclusive sneak peek inside.

Some 12 new buses are scheduled to arrive in the city in September and will predominan­tly run on the 28 route – from Myrekrik to Douglas via the city centre and Lochee.

They will be brand new vehicles and the city’s first electric-powered buses.

The fleet is currently made up of diesel and hybrid vehicles.

The 28 service was chosen because it runs through Lochee Road – one of the most polluted streets in Scotland.

While buses account for about 2% of emissions on the busy street, bosses at Xplore described the choice as a “statement of intent” to help Dundee become a greener city.

Manufactur­ing firm Alexander Dennis, which has delivered electric buses to cities including London, Manchester and Glasgow, supplied a demo vehicle to Xplore recently so driving trainer Jonathan Eggleton can familiaris­e himself with it.

While the red bus on show is more reminiscen­t of London buses, the dozen Dundee ones will be given a fresh coat of paint in Xplore’s signature green before roll-out.

The bus is notably quieter due to the lack of a combustibl­e engine and has all the latest mod cons, such as USB ports, but the passenger experience will be largely the same.

The battery gives 170 hours on a single charge.

Each double-decker will be able to house about 90 passengers at a time.

Mr Eggleton has been driving buses for 21 years, most of that time in Dundee.

He took Xplore and council bosses along a section of the 28 route to try out the new bus.

He is looking forward to getting behind the wheel of more of them come September.

“The main difference is the lack of sound,” he said.

“It’s very quiet. You come to a stop and it’s all quiet.

“You don’t get the puff of exhaust fumes when you set off and that can only be a good thing, for drivers and passengers alike.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

Xplore managing director Christine Mcglasson described the £7 million investment as a “statement of intent” to make travelling around Dundee a greener affair.

She hopes that, in time, all diesel and petrol vehicles can be removed from the fleet.

She said: “Zero emissions is the end goal for us.

“While buses are only responsibl­e for 2% of emissions on Lochee Road, we chose that route to show we want to play our part in helping reduce emissions in the city.

“I am really excited to bring this to Dundee. Making this investment after what has been a difficult year for public transport is something I am proud of.”

 ??  ?? CHARGED UP: Jonathan Eggleton tests the fully-electric bus. Picture by Mhairi Edwards.
CHARGED UP: Jonathan Eggleton tests the fully-electric bus. Picture by Mhairi Edwards.

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