SALISBURY Reds has been awarded more than half a million pounds in order to bring electric buses to the city.

The operator, along with Wiltshire Council, has been awarded £654,000 under the Government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme, and will buy three electric buses.

Salisbury Reds managing director, Andrew Wickham said it was a "momentous occasion, not only for Salisbury Reds, but for sustainable transport in the region”.

He added: “This is no mean feat and is the result of considerable effort from our team as well as from partners at Wiltshire Council and at the Department for Transport.

"Introducing electric buses requires an infrastructure designed to ensure they are primed and ready to provide frequent services across our park and ride routes here in Salisbury and state of the art electric charging will be installed at our depot in the city.

"I’m delighted that Salisbury Reds is one of the first operators in the south of England to introduce these exciting new buses – they will primarily be used on Park & Ride services in the city but will also be used on other routes in the Salisbury area.”

A demo bus has been on Salisbury streets this week picking up park and ride passengers.

Wiltshire Council successfully bid for the funding and has also contributed £50k to the scheme.

Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for highways at Wiltshire Council said: “The demo bus in action around Salisbury this week has given passengers a taste of how we can travel and use the city responsibly in the future.

"Wiltshire Council doesn’t just talk about air quality we actively take measures to make a positive difference."

The overall scheme costs £1.2m. with £654,000 from government, £543,000 from Salisbury Reds and £50,000 from Wiltshire Council.

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