Dorset goes electric – on the buses, or at least two to start with! From the 11th June 2012, the number 6 bus service between Dorchester and Poundbury will be operated using two new Optare Electric Buses recently acquired by Dorset Passenger Transport (and funded jointly by Dorset County Council, West Dorset District Council, the Duchy of Cornwall and assisted by a £166,000 grant from the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund).
So far there are very few fully electrical buses in operation in the UK, so Dorset could well be only the third county to have such a environmentally friendly bus service. The impetus for the introduction of these electric buses seems in part to have come from Prince Charles and it’s thought that the leather seats on the two buses were requested by the Prince – a touch of extra comfort, for what are by all accounts very comfortable buses already.
It’s early days yet but Dorset County Council and West Dorset District Council have indicated an interest in purchasing more of these buses to serve other routes – a good sign for the future and making logistical sense as the battery charging infrastructure for the first two buses has already been installed.
If you happen to be in Dorchester and want to try out the electric transport revolution – it’s now no harder than buying a bus ticket, or using your bus pass, if you’re fortunate enough to have one, for the Number 6 bus.
More information is on http://news.dorsetforyou.com/2011/04/green-grant-for-groundbreaking-new-electric-buses and there is a highly informative article about this exciting and ambitious project in the latest June 2012 issue of AtoB Magazine available here: www.atob.org.uk/featured/a-to-b-90free-download.