Zero emission bus parked outside Warrington Town Hall

A sustainable future for buses

We have successfully secured, from The Department for Transport, £21.5m in Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) funding - to support the introduction of up to 4,000 zero-emission buses across the country.

This funding will allow us to transform bus travel in Warrington, through the introduction of an all-electric bus fleet, due for roll out towards the end of 2023.

The ZEBRA scheme supports a wide range of council policies aimed at transforming travel, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality, including our:

What are our plans?

The ZEBRA funding will enable us to drive ahead with the replacement of Warrington’s Own Buses’ entire fleet of diesel buses with 120 new electric buses.

Warrington’s Own Buses - wholly owned by the council - covers 85% of the bus mileage in the borough, so the conversion of its fleet to all-electric will bring a huge boost to our ambitions to introduce greener and cleaner transport options throughout Warrington.

The total cost of the ZEBRA Project is £50m. £21.5m is being provided by ZEBRA grant funding, with the council and Warrington’s Own Buses providing the remaining funding.

A cutting-edge, new bus depot

The electric bus depot structure, taken in May 2022

The new bus depot in progress, May 2022

Independently of ZEBRA, we are taking forward, as part of the Warrington Town Deal, a brand new bus depot – relocating Warrington's Own Buses’ depot from its current site to a purpose-built new depot on Dallam Lane.

Due for completion by the end of 2022, the new bus depot will have the capability to support our fleet of all-electric buses. Next year, the depot will be fitted out with electric vehicle charging infrastructure, ready to house our new fleet.

Our commitment to green energy will also see the new buses charged by green electricity. We have already purchased solar farms in Hull, York and Cirencester which supply green energy to the grid.

Bus Service Improvement Plan

The Government has also announced that Warrington is to receive an indicative funding allocation of around £16.2m to reduce bus fares and drive up the quality of bus services in the borough.

Warrington has received confirmation from the Department for Transport that it is one of the Local Authorities to receive a significant cash boost from the National Bus Strategy - Bus Back Better – fund.

The success in securing this funding means we can take our Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) forward, working with partners over the next three years to make buses cheaper, more frequent, faster, and reliable, easier to use and better integrated.

A better bus service

To maximise the benefits of the ZEBRA funding, we have committed to an Enhanced Partnership with all local operators locally. This creates a real opportunity to review all aspects of bus provision in Warrington and make significant improvements that will benefit existing passengers and encourage more people to choose the bus for their journeys.

Alongside Warrington’s BSIP, the Enhanced Partnership will see us engage with all bus operators in Warrington, ensuring high standards are set out in terms of:

  • State-of-the-art vehicles, with the highest standards of quality and accessibility.
  • Clear targets for journey times and reliability improvements, to be reported at least every six months.
  • Addressing variable quality in bus provision and infrastructure.
  • Identifying where bus priority measures are needed, including consideration of Bus Rapid Transit to transform key corridors and application of traffic management to benefit buses.  Drive improvements for passengers

This will ensure that the conversion of Warrington’s Own Buses fleet from diesel to new electric vehicles is just one part of a much wider package of measures designed to increase bus usage in Warrington and to achieve mode shift from the private car, reverse falling bus patronage and increase the share of journeys made by bus.

More information