Multi million pound bus depot upgrade will pave way for electric fleet

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The work is part of preparations for the electric bus fleet

The first steps towards bringing all-electric buses to Blackpool are being taken after the council revealed it is seeking a contractor to transform the town's main bus depot.

One of the Rigby Road depotsOne of the Rigby Road depots
One of the Rigby Road depots | n/a

A contractor for the work to update the Rigby Road site in South Shore is being sought through North West local authority procurement site The Chest. Details of the contract say a company is required to supply electric charging infrastructure for a fleet of at least 90 electric buses, although 115 buses are expected to operate in total.

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No value is given for the contract, but in December 2022 the council approved an £8m loan to Blackpool Transport from its business loans fund to upgrade the Rigby Road depot by fitting the infrastructure required for electric buses including charging points.

In March 2022 Blackpool Transport Services (BTS), which is owned by the council, received £20m towards the cost of switching to electric buses after a successful bid to the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) fund.

Details published on The Chest say the council and Blackpool Transport "will be undertaking significant modification of the existing depot to ensure that it is fit for purpose and meets the future vision for BTS.

"The depot will be fitted out with electric vehicle charging infrastructure, ready to house the new fleet of electric buses."

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Whichever contractor is appointed will be expected to fully deliver the project "including design, installation, commissioning, ongoing operations and maintenance." Companies have until July 10 to submit an expression of interest to the council.

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