‘This is just the start’ says First Bus South MD as Fareham depot gets ready for 62 electric buses

Five people in high-vis holding EV-related cardboard cutouts in front of a bus

From left – Cllr Vernon-Jackson, Portsmouth City Council; Carol Sim, Head of Operations at First Bus South; Simon Goff, MD of First Bus South; and Cllr Stephen Philpott and Frank Baxter, both Hants County Council.

By Daniel Face [email protected]

Published: October 26, 2023 | Updated: 27th October 2023

Work is underway to transform First Solent’s Hoeford depot in Fareham, ready to operate 62 brand-new electric single-deck buses from March 2024.

First Bus logoThe fleet will run across Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport as part of the company’s partnership with Hampshire County Council and Portsmouth City Council.

Portsmouth’s Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson joined staff for a launch event to mark the start of infrastructure works.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-JacksonHe said: “This is a thrilling moment in our journey to bring electric buses to Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.

“The partnership has enabled us to take huge steps in the right direction in supporting the switch to sustainable methods of travel.

“I look forward to seeing the development of the Hoeford site, and the arrival of electric buses early next year.”

Between a £15.9 million investment from First Bus South and a £12.7 million grant from the Department for Transport, the multi-million-pound project will see a large portion of the operator’s diesel fleet phased out – saving up to 60 tonnes of tailpipe emissions annually.

Group of people in high-vis holding EV-related cardboard cutouts in front of a bus

Journeys should not only be cleaner, but also smoother and quieter for passengers.

Simon GoffSimon Goff, MD of First Bus South, added: “Bringing electric buses to Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport is a vital project that will not only improve travel for our customers, but marks a major transformation of our Hoeford depot and its functions.

“This is just the start, and there are exciting times ahead for public transport across the Solent area.

“I’m proud to be part of this extremely important partnership with Hampshire County Council and Portsmouth City Council, as we support their plans for better air quality and cleaner, greener travel.”

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