Guernsey’s parliament is being asked to back nearly £3million of spending on new diesel buses, saying existing electric buses aren’t able to cope with the island’s roads.
The 22 StreetVibe buses, each costing £131,500, could be in service by 2020 and will join the recent arrival of 12 of the buses that cost a combined £1.65million.
The Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure say they’ve worked hard during negotiations with supplier Wrightbus to drive down the price.
The move would leave just the eight of the old Dart Nimbus buses in service before a third and final phase of replacements is carried out after this next batch.
The Committee says it is keen to make the island’s bus fleet as clean and efficient as possible but, at this point, alternative fuel vehicles such as electric buses are not yet viable for the island. This is because there are no alternative fuel vehicles that suit Guernsey’s specific requirements on range, width, capacity and affordability.
The exact cost of the 22 new buses is £2,893,000.
Deputy Barry Brehaut, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, said: “The importance of the bus service to the success of the Integrated Transport Strategy should not be underestimated. We have seen significant growth in passenger journeys in recent years and this further emphasises the importance of the service. We must have a modern, clean and efficient fleet of buses to help the service further develop over the next 10 years.”
“The majority of the remaining ageing bus fleet are in urgent need of replacement and we’re looking to progress that without delay. As such, the proposed revised programme for Phases 2 and 3 is intended to accelerate this process and address the deficiencies in the current fleet. In turn, this will provide a more robust fleet of vehicles to deal with anticipated future demands of the public on the bus service by the end of 2020.”
The tender for the final batch of buses is due in either 2019 or early 2020.