Local MPs push for zero carbon electric buses in Milton Keynes

It's a 'hugely exciting and important' scheme. they say

By Sally Murrer
Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:30 pm

Local MPs Ben Everitt and Iain Stewart have urged the government to bring a new zero carbon buses scheme to the streets of Milton Keynes.

The MPs have written to the Department for Transport backing a bid from MK in the ZEBRA initiative (Zero Emission Bus Regional Assessment).

Already Milton Keynes has been selected under the fast track process to progress to Phase 2 of the competition.

A zero carbon bus

The ZEBRA scheme will provide up to £120 million for local transport authorities outside London to support the introduction of zero-emission buses.

MK has already become a hub for innovation with trials of autonomous vehicles, e-scooters and the introduction of delivery robots so the MPs are hoping for further success with zero emissions buses.

Ben Everitt, MP for Milton Keynes North, said: “The ZEBRA initiative is a hugely exciting and important scheme which can help Milton Keynes continue to lead the way with green technology.

“We’ve already got more rapid electric car charging points than anywhere else in the UK and making our buses all electric can be the next step on the road to Net Zero.

“It’s absolutely vital we tackle climate change and we’ve already made huge strides by reducing emissions by 49% since 1990, but there’s still plenty of work to do so I hope Milton Keynes is successful with its bid.”

Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, said: "I truly believe that Milton Keynes is an ideal place for the zero emission buses to be implemented.

"By having this scheme, it will allow MK to continue being at the forefront of innovation whilst doing our bit to cut carbon emissions and combat climate change.

"That is why I, along with Ben Everitt MP, wrote to the Department for Transport to voice our support for MK's application in hopes that we will be successful."

Earlier this year Milton Keynes launched a new 'user friendly' MK Connect bus service, using a fleet of seven-seater electric vans to replaced many of the lesser used subsidised bus routes,

But the new demand responsive system, where people can book a ride via their phones or online, has prompted complaints as well as compliments.

The council says the MK Connect vans offer a more efficient, cleaner and greener way to get around the city. However, some users say the new service is has proved difficult to use for people without a smartphone, and is more expensive and more frustrating.