Wrightbus launches first ever double-deck electric ‘low bridge' buses in Leicester

Launching the new low bridge double deck vehicles at Wrightbus are Ballymena councillor Adam Clarke with Arriva managing director Alistair Hands

BUS manufacturer Wrigthbus’s first ever double-deck zero emission buses designed to combat low bridges are to be rolled out across Leicester.

Operated by Arriva, the 22 Streetdeck Electroliners are the Ballymena firm’s first ‘Low Bridge’ specification double-deck battery electric buses and will be hitting the streets of Leicester in October.

They will be the city’s first electric double-decks as well as being Arriva’s first electric double-decks outside London.

The buses each carry around 90 passengers and have a range of around 200 miles with a recharge time of 2 hours 45 minutes.

The vehicles also have enhanced specifications to improve the customer experience such as better onboard lighting, digital customer information screens and USB charging points.

Wrightbus chief executive Jean-Marc Gales said: “We're delighted to be partnering with Arriva once again in accelerating its investment in the electrification of its bus fleet and in the drive to zero-emission public transport in the industry.

“This represents another significant deal for the business as we remain at the forefront of new and exciting technology.

“All of the buses will be built in Ballymena, lending further support to the wider regional economy and allowing us to create green jobs as we continue in our growth.”

The first of the zero-emission vehicles was delivered in September for driver-training.

This landmark moment for the city’s transport network is part of Arriva’s pledge to deliver a sustainable and environmentally-friendly bus network.

The Wrightbus vehicles are the fruits of a significant investment by Arriva and has been made possible thanks to the ongoing partnership between Arriva UK Bus and Leicester City Council.

The operator and the local authority made a successful joint bid through the Government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme to unlock the £11 million worth of green investment required to purchase new buses.

The boost in electric buses marks a giant step in Arriva’s commitment to developing and decarbonising its fleet in Leicester, and builds on the millions of pounds the operator has already invested in upgrading its entire Leicester fleet to the latestultra-low emissions standards.