Plans are in motion to start the “electrification” of Bolton buses at one of the town’s key depots as public transport in Bolton and across Greater Manchester is transformed.

The proposal, lodged this month, will see works carried out on Bolton Bus Depot on Weston Street in Great Lever that will allow it to charge up around 50 electric buses.

Greater Manchester has set out a new ambition to become the first city-region to deliver a carbon neutral transport network.

Under the plans, the city region’s bus fleet will be 50 per cent electric by 2027 and 100 per cent electric within a decade, a move that would singlehandedly reduce carbon emissions by 1.1 million tonnes. 

The  first locally controlled bus services in 36 years will take to the road in Bolton this year.

The Bolton News:

And  a multi-million-pound order for 50 new double-deck electric buses has been placed with manufacturer Alexander Dennis.

Powered by electric batteries and built in Britain, the new buses will produce zero local emissions, supporting Greater Manchester in building a sustainable future for public transport.

Due to operate across Wigan and Bolton, they will be the first to bear the branding of the new Bee Network – Greater Manchester’s bold ambition for a fully integrated, London-style transport system comprising buses, trams, walking and cycling, and eventually trains.

The plans submitted to Boltoin Council will be the first phase in a plan that aims to equip the depot with the capacity to charge up 155 buses.

A statement from the developers said: “The client brief states a requirement for the design of an ultimately 100 per cent electrification scheme, which will be delivered in phases to allow for the successful implementation of charging infrastructure while maintaining an operating bus fleet.

“Phase one requires delivery of the infrastructure to allow full electric charging for 50 buses.

The Bolton News: The plans were put before Bolton CouncilThe plans were put before Bolton Council (Image: The Harris Partnership)

“This will form the first phase of the full 155 electric bus charging target number.”

The works have been proposed by Transport for Greater Manchester alongside developers Wilmott Dixon, and comes ahead of the proposed roll out of the Bee Network across the city region.

The Bolton News: The bus depot on Weston StreetThe bus depot on Weston Street (Image: Google Maps)

The building itself will remain in the same condition, with the developers having judged that it is not in need of refurbishment.

But a new primary substation will be added along with an underground power distribution system and other equipment such as lighting and external bus charging units.

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It added: “Due to the implementation of electric bus charging units, staff car parking while the buses are away from the depot will not be as simple as it was for the diesel bus layout.

“Therefore, staff parking is something that will be managed by the operator and not a factor involved in the delivered design.

“Existing access points will remain the same as in the existing scheme, with a similar one-way operating system being adopted to suit the tenant.”

The plans were first put before Bolton Council on Thursday June 15 and will be open for neighbourhood consultations until Friday July 14.

Once this consultation period has passed, the authority will aim to decide weather or not to approve the proposal by Thursday August 17 this year.