A proposed £10 million scheme could see 25 new ultra-low emission buses coming to the streets of Farnham.
Surrey County Council is working with local operator Stagecoach on the plans. The intention is to bid for funding from the government’s all-electric bus town scheme.
The buses being considered have a small diesel generator as fully electric buses would not be able to serve the long routes in the area. However, the generator would be automatically turned off in Farnham town centre, putting the buses into a zero-emissions mode.
Matt Furniss, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Transport is responsible for 46% of emissions in Surrey, so improving public transport and reducing air pollution are both vital to help us tackle climate change and become a net zero carbon county by 2050.
“Introducing ultra-low emission buses also supports the work we’re doing with Waverley Borough Council and Farnham Town Council to reduce congestion and improve air quality around Farnham.”
Surrey County Council previously worked with Stagecoach to win government funding to convert all Guildford Park and Ride services to a fully electric fleet of buses.
Edward Hodgson, Managing Director of Stagecoach in Surrey, said: “Stagecoach introduced Surrey’s first electric buses in 2019 and we’re delighted to again be working with the County Council to try and bring more ultra-low emission buses onto the Surrey network.
“Increased bus use is very much part of the solution to the climate emergency we all face and this exciting proposal would not only give zero emission buses in Farnham, but also deliver a significant improvement in overall customer experience encouraging even more people to ditch the car and switch to sustainable public transport.”
This is just one part of Surrey County Council’s commitment to spend more than £297 million over five years to help the county tackle climate change – including supporting a move to more environmentally-friendly ways of travel. This will include investing in charging points to encourage residents to swap to electric vehicles and improving rights of way like footpaths and bridleways.