Wiltshire Publications

Town Council supports e-bus plans

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WESTBURY Town Council have given their support for a new Westbury to Frome e-bus corridor. 

Councillors agreed to the idea in principle at a recent highways, planning and development (HP&D) meeting. Once Frome Town Council has spoken to Wiltshire Council, then Westbury town councillors say they will ‘chip in’ with more details and suggestions. 

Chair of HP&D, cllr Mike Sutton said, “We are being asked to support this scheme which has been proposed by Frome Council and as you can see from the paperwork, it will work out cheaper than the money Wiltshire Council is paying to subsidise the existing bus. 

“And of course, it would fit in with our vision of a frequent service around the town and to the station, removing some traffic from the road.” 

The proposal would see the acquisition of four new buses, with three in operation at any one time and would replace the current 45 and 47 bus services with a circular e-bus route. 

The estimated costs of this could rise to £80,000 per annum – but the current service currently costs Wiltshire Council £92,000, meaning this proposal would save Wiltshire Council £12,000. 

The new Mellor Orion E-Bus would run on electricity and is the first of its kind to be specifically designed for the kinds of roads found on routes in Westbury and rural inter-urban routes such as Westbury-Frome.  

The bus has a 120-mile range on a single charge, with a rapid charging facility, that would be used each time it enters the depot in Frome. It is fully wheelchair accessible from both the side and back, comes in a 23-seat version and is also manufactured in the UK, therefore qualifying for Department for Transport funding.