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We're driving forward Glasgow's first electric community transport service

24/01/2020

Today, Community Transport Glasgow unveils Glasgow's first ever all-electric minibuses, fully funded by our Green Economy Fund to support vulnerable, disadvantaged and elderly people across the city to access vital appointments and community activities.

The network operator is supporting Community Transport Glasgow, who work in partnership with Glasgow City Council, to use these new buses as social transport - making it Scotland’s first community transport service with an all-electric fleet. We are directly funding five 100% electric minibuses and two fully electric people carriers; replacing aging diesel vehicles that put the charity’s vital community work in jeopardy as they had become increasingly unreliable.

Three new buses were unveiled this morning at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, when the service’s first users went on a day trip to the gardens and afternoon tea with Glasgow icon Elaine C. Smith in the beautiful Kibble Palace glasshouse.

The community transport minibuses will be a first for Glasgow, as both 15-seater and seven-seater vehicles are fully electric and Orion E low floor accessible – which ensures the fleet provides transport solutions to assist vulnerable communities throughout Glasgow while helping to improve air quality in the city. In the long-term, the new vehicles will enable Community Transport Glasgow to reduce its carbon footprint through a 33 tonnes reduction in CO2 emissions. 

The all-electric community vehicles are being funded as part of our £20million Green Economy Fund, which supports Glasgow’s mission to become the UK’s first net zero emissions city by 2030 and the Scottish Government’s ambitious plans to meet climate change targets. The fund also aims to boost local economic growth, improve air quality across the country and deliver a better future, quicker for all.

The move to electric vehicles assists with securing long-term sustainability that will enable Community Transport Glasgow to continue to provide transport solutions to over 75,000 passengers who depend on the services each year, including older adults, those with a disability, those with mobility issues and those who are socially isolated. Community Transport Glasgow operates in Greater Glasgow, but with a key focus on East End of the city (Shettleston, Parkhead, Cranhill, Easterhouse, Garrowhill, Gallowgate, Dennistoun) and the West (Drumchapel, Knightswood, Scotstoun).

Graham Dunn, Manager at Community Transport Glasgow, said: "Community Transport Glasgow is delighted that it is able to move to an electric fleet that will reduce our CO2 emissions.  This would not have been possible without full funding from SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund. This will be transformational, not only in terms of the environment, but also for the social impact it will have as it assists with our long-term financial sustainability to ensure we can continue to provide vital transport services to the vulnerable communities of Glasgow. Our ambition is to lead the way by being the first community transport organisation to operate with a fully electric fleet in Scotland."

Our CEO, Frank Mitchell, said: "Glasgow has ambitious plans to be the UK’s first net zero carbon city by 2030 but we must ensure that no community is left behind. That is at the heart of our Green Economy Fund, which helps communities build their own green economy and establish low carbon infrastructure. We are so proud to be funding Community Transport Glasgow as they begin to build an electric fleet that will allow them to play their part in improving the city’s air quality and supporting some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

"SP Energy Networks is working closely with Glasgow City Council and a wide range of local partners to support the city’s net zero vision. Just two weeks ago, we unveiled Glasgow’s first commercial electric bus route – the M3 from Milton to the City Centre – and infrastructure that will allow First Bus to introduce 22 electric vehicles in the future. Decarbonising Glasgow requires everyone to think and act differently – we’re playing our part by supporting innovative solutions and providing a roadmap to net zero for Glasgow."

Lena McKale, member of Eastenders Stroke Group and user of Community Transport Glasgow's services, said: "After suffering a stroke, my life became increasingly lonely as getting out of the house and meeting people was incredibly difficult. Community Transport Glasgow truly transformed my life. Their new electric vehicles are beautiful and much more reliable than the previous minibuses we were using. The vehicles really are a lifeline for myself and many other users, so we couldn’t be more grateful for the support we have received from SP Energy Networks."

So far, 33 projects have been awarded funding from our Green Economy Fund across Central and Southern Scotland. To find out more about the fund and the projects it supports, please visit the Green Economy Fund page on the website.

For more information or to support this vital community service to develop our transport solutions please e-mail Community Transport Glasgow at booking@ctglasgow.org.uk

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Shaun Bell or Hayley Gibson on 0131 561 8628 or greeneconomy@stripecommunications.com


Notes to Editors

SP Energy Networks:

  • SP Energy Networks (SPEN) is the distribution arm of ScottishPower and the licensed Electricity Distributor (DNO) for Central & Southern Scotland and for Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire. We have 30,000 substations (one substation for every 100 customers), 40,000km overhead lines (once around the globe), and 70,000km underground cables.
  • SPEN also operates the Transmission Network in Central and Southern Scotland. They take electricity generated from power stations, windfarms and various other utilities and transport it through their vast transmission network, consisting of over 4000 kilometres of overhead and 320 kilometres of underground lines. They have 129 transmission substations in their network that help us to manage extra high voltage electricity supplies.
  • From 2015 to 2023 SP Energy Networks is investing approximately £7 billion into the electricity network. To keep power supplies on the company currently manages over 110,000km of power cables and 30,000 substations across their network area.

Green Economy Fund:

  • SP Energy Networks has committed to voluntarily contribute up to £20million over a two-year period to support initiatives that will benefit the people of Scotland and support Scotland’s ambitious green energy plans and local economic growth.
  • The Green Economy Fund is a way of SP Energy Networks investing in the communities that it serves to support the Scottish and the UK Government’s energy ambitions.
  • The fund aims to: build the infrastructure and the learnings needed for the changes in heating and transport expected over the next decade; stimulate economic activity and create jobs in Scotland; support the Scottish Government’s ambitious energy strategy and the UK’s drive to a low carbon economy; work with specific communities within our operational area in Scotland, supporting both rural and urban areas in particular that suffer from fuel poverty; and provide access to funding for projects that may ordinarily struggle to obtain funding.

Community Transport Glasgow

  • Community Transport Glasgow (CTG) provides not-for-profit community transport solutions to assist the communities throughout Glasgow.  The organisation has been providing a vital community transport provision in the Glasgow area since 2005. A social enterprise, the organisation was established to provide relief to communities of Glasgow, who are in need due to age, mental and physical disability, illness and poverty. 
  • Covering the whole of Glasgow, but with particular focus on the East and West, the organisation covers every type of community transport including a community bus service, volunteer car scheme and first and last mile transport to other forms of public transport.  
  • CTG plays a significant role in the community of Glasgow providing valuable support to schools, voluntary groups and the NHS amongst others. The organisation provides accessible community-led solutions in response to transport needs and brings enormous social and economic benefits, transporting over 75,000 passengers each year, equating to 132,000 journeys in and around Glasgow.
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