Guernsey Press

Jersey moves ahead with electric buses, Guernsey’s ‘in pipeline’

There is still no confirmation as to when electric buses will be added to the island’s fleet.

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One of two, Sigma 8 Electric buses, purchased at a cost of £335,000, currently on service in Jersey. (32874844)

The Guernsey Press reported in September that the States had begun undertaking an ‘expressions of interest exercise’ that would potentially lead to the replacement of up to eight of the current diesel vehicles.

‘Investigating the potential to replace some of the bus fleet, as part of phase three of the bus fleet replacement programme, has commenced,’ said Traffic & Highway Services lead officer Colin Le Page.

‘However, through the approved Funding & Investment Plan, the States has agreed that this project should be moved into the list of pipeline projects, which may delay this work.’

He confirmed there was currently a review to look at how to move forward with the de-carbonisation of the bus fleet.

‘With transport still Guernsey’s biggest contributor of greenhouse gases, the committee remains keen to see the introduction of non-hydrocarbon powered buses,’ he said.

‘Several electric bus trials have taken place in Guernsey, which have gone very well.’

Two models were trialled on Guernsey’s narrow roads last year – the Chinese Yutong E9 and British-made Mellor Sigma 8.

Speaking in August, when the Sigma 8 was trialled, Kevin Hart, a director of both CT Plus in Guernsey and Liberty Bus in Jersey who are both owned by transport company Tower Transit, said that the vehicle was the model best-suited to the island’s roads.

Unlike in Guernsey, where buses are owned by the States, Liberty Bus own and operate buses in Jersey.

In December, Liberty Bus purchased two Sigma 8s, at a combined cost of £670,000.

Mr Hart said the buses were not yet on the Jersey network ‘in full’ as they were still in the ‘final throes’ of training.

‘However where they have been used the feedback is very positive about the smoothness, quietness and overall comfort of the buses,’ he said.

‘Our drivers like the comfort and the easy way the vehicle manoeuvres around the narrow roads.

'The size of the vehicle is ideal for both Jersey and Guernsey.’