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Plan for electric ‘bendy’ bus coming to Derby city centre
This electric bus could soon be a feature of Derby's main streets (Image credit: Geograph)

Plan for electric ‘bendy’ bus coming to Derby city centre

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It’s part of £65 million plans to improve transport

An electric “bendy” bus could soon be connecting Derby Cathedral with Pride Park if a multi-million pound bid to the Department for Transport is successful next month. The “high quality” electric rapid transit (ERT) route, would run directly through the city centre, taking in the Market Place, Corn Market, St Peter’s Street and The Spot, before doubling back to the Market Place. It would then take a route out via the Morledge and the bus station and along Pride Parkway to Pride Park, diverting to the railway station and Derby College, on the way. It is estimated that each of the two 18 metre buses, or “trams without rails” as they were dubbed by deputy city council leader Matthew Holmes, would take about 17 minutes to complete the route. Each of them can hold up to 90 people and will be articulated to allow them to negotiate the narrow Derby streets and bends.
There are flurries of beautiful Snowdrops across 5 acres of stunning woodland. Source: Hopton Hall. artist's impression of the garden room extension at Callow Hall, near Ashbourne (Image: Tate Harmer)

If the project was to go ahead, an area outside of Derby Cathedral could be turned into a square where the bus could stop and pick up passengers.

Anyone boarding it could get off a different points along the route depending on how far they wish to travel.




There will be no specific carriageway through the city centre for the bus to travel along, although it is likely to have a dedicated lane on the roads leading to Pride Park, with the likelihood that the traffic islands will be removed to allow the buses to pass along easily without having to negotiate them.

Each of the buses will have its batteries charged overnight and they can be topped up at either end of the journey during the day if necessary.

Early risers are in for a treat. Source: James Grant Photography.

In addition, the bid also includes plans for three new “smart” park and ride hubs.

Their location has still to be determined but they are likely to be east towards Spondon, west towards Littleover or Mickleover, to possibly include the Royal Derby Hospital traffic, and south to Boulton Moor to benefit Rolls-Royce employees.

Other improvements in the bid include:

* Normal bus priority corridors in the city by upgrading junctions, infrastructure and real time information at key junctions to improve reliability on major routes;

* Cycle lane improvements along key routes to employment sites, including dedicated cycle lanes along Slack Lane, Raynesway and Nottingham Road;

* A workplace travel service which will give small grants to Derby businesses to make improvements that will encourage staff to travel sustainably to and from work.

There are also plans to allow people to summon buses as required in specific areas of the city using an app in a similar way that they are able to order taxis.

The articulated part of the bus allows it to bend around corners (Image credit: Geograph)

The project is designed to improve connections between major employment sites and promote active travel and public transport.

Derby is hoping to get up to £65 million as its share of the £100 million plus bid, which is the biggest bid city council officers have ever dealt with.

The project is part of a wider bid in the second phase of the Transforming Cities Fund, which has been submitted jointly with Nottingham City Council.

As a result, there are initiatives in the bid to better connect Derby and Nottingham and East Midlands Airport.

These include improved real time information, signal and bus lane priority for public transport across the region, cashless payments and seamless ticketing in Derby, expanding the electric charging point network, upgrading cycle links between the two cities and a bike share programme.

A double cycle lane is planned for Railway Terrace (Image credit: Derby City Council)

Mr Holmes, who is also cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport, said the council had decided to make “a truly ambitious bid”.

He said: “It shows Derby is ready to transform transport across the city area and enhance the links between Derby and Nottingham.

“The economic benefits will be huge for both cities because this level of investment offers the chance to implement some really exciting changes, bringing mass transit to the city, and creating public transport innovations and transport experiences.

“A key part of the proposals, for example, is a dramatic expansion of sustainable travel options. These include a network of cycle lanes and an improved environment to encourage walking.

“The overarching ambition is to radically improve the connections between where people live and work, and provide better access to employment and training.”

“As part of our commitment to clear air, we have also designed our programme to deliver significant reductions in emissions, encourage a more active and healthier population, and to support inward investment and regeneration projects.”

The two councils are expecting to hear the outcome of the joint bid in mid-March and if successful the buses could be running on Derby’s streets in 2023-24.

Credit for this article goes to Derbyshire Live, you can read the full article by clicking here

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