Bolton makes huge strides towards a 100% electric public transport system

A bus depot is set to install 155 charging points as the borough’s network moves towards being 100 per cent electric.

First Manchester Bus Depot on Weston Street

A huge investment is planned at the First Manchester Bus Depot on Weston Street, Bolton, ahead of an eventual requirement for all buses used in the town to be electric.

Transport for Greater Manchester

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) will launch the Bee Network in the borough on September 24, bringing back local authority control of the bus network for the first time since 1986.

Bee Network bus services will start running in the autumn on routes in Bolton, Wigan, and parts of Manchester, Salford and Bury. In the short term, bus routes and timetables will be similar to now.

Bee Network buses

Earlier this month, the first five yellow-coloured Bee Network buses were handed over to TfGM after being built in Scotland by Alexander Dennis.
The electric buses are 10.8m long and powered from 382kWh batteries, meaning they have no tailpipe emissions.

The buses will be among 50 new electric double-deck vehicles that will enter service when the network begins.

A planning application gives details of the plans to transform Bolton’s bus depot.

It states: “The proposed development encompasses the introduction of infrastructure to permit the charging of zero-emission buses at the Bolton depot.

“The works will include a new primary HV substation, HV transformer and LV switch panel enclosures, underground power distribution, lighting and external charging units and associated minor civils.”

The existing building has 52,000 sqft of office space for employees with the rest of the building dedicated to bus maintenance through workshops, body shops, MOT, paint wash and fuel bays.

The electrification scheme will at first see charging for 50 buses.

The application, added: “This will form the first phase of the full 155 electric bus charging target number for an ultimately 100 per cent electrification scheme.” Bolton Council will now consider the planning application.

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