As one of the big winners in the first round of Zebra funding, the council-owned company is replacing its entire fleet with zero-emission Volvos. As ALAN MILLAR explains, it also is cloaking them in a similar colour to the mayor-controlled networks being rolled out in the neighbouring city regions.

Volvo BZL demonstrator BV72 KPF, wrapped in the rose yellow livery that the 105 electric buses will wear, in service with Warrington’s Own Buses in March.

The signs at the depot entrances were already in place by March 8, welcoming visitors to “the home of Warrington’s electric buses”.

All the vehicles running in and out of the £10million Dallam Lane premises – opened 11 months earlier – that morning were diesels, some of them well past their first flush of youth, but this was the official launch of a mammoth transformation that will turn Warrington’s Own Buses into one of the UK’s first 100% electric operations by the end of the year.

The 105 buses – MCV-bodied Volvo BZLs in a variety of sizes and configurations – should be delivered, four every week, between May and December, allowing this, one of the eight remaining arm’s length municipal companies, to end 111 years’ use of internal combustion engines and build on its new zero-emission credentials to persuade more of the local population to switch to public transport.

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