UK’s first solar-powered Park & Ride opens in Leeds with electric ‘deckers

Five BYD-ADL Enviro400EV zero-emission double deck buses have started work on West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s new Stourton Park & Ride service in Leeds, operated by First Bus.

Stourton Park & Ride boasts 45 solar panels that cover the size of 18 tennis courts and generate the capacity to power the entire site’s electrical needs via an innovative battery storage system. Other features of the new Park & Ride site include 26 fast electric vehicle charging ports and 4 rapid chargers totalling 30 EV charging spaces, secure bicycle storage and 1,200 vehicle spaces.

The site at Stourton is the first solar-powered Park & Ride in the UK. It is also the third Park & Ride site in Leeds. The scheme is delivered in partnership with Connecting Leeds at Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and First West Yorkshire, which operates the service.

The site was opened in a ceremony attended by the Minister for Future of Transport and Environment, Rachel Maclean MP; and Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin.

ADL is a subsidiary of leading independent global bus manufacturer NFI Group Inc. (NFI), while BYD is a global leader in batteries, energy management and electric mobility.

The electric buses are owned and operated by First West Yorkshire under contract with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority which secured funding from the Department for Transport’s Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme.

Built in Yorkshire at ADL’s factory in Scarborough, each 10.8m long BYD ADL Enviro400EV offers up to 69 comfortable seats and has a range of up to 160 miles on a single charge of its cobalt-free BYD Iron-Phosphate Batteries.

Departing up to every 10 minutes, the new zero emission double deckers take less than 15 minutes to smoothly and quietly deliver motorists from the site at the M621 motorway to the heart of Leeds city centre.

As well as using solar panels to generate electricity for lighting, electric vehicle charging, CCTV security and heat for the terminus building and waiting room, the design of the site has also considered opportunities to achieve benefits of nature. Over 11,000 trees and shrubs create an attractive environment for people using the facilities, walking or cycling, to enjoy. The terminus building features a ‘green roof’, helping to reduce urban air temperatures and creating a habitat for wildlife.

Councillor Kim Groves, West Yorkshire Transport Committee Lead Member for Public Transport, said: “As the UK’s first solar-powered Park & Ride, Stourton is enhancing transport links in Leeds and West Yorkshire and making a positive impact on the local economy and businesses.

“The reduced commuting times and lower commuting costs are a major boost for people working in the city, in terms of both their wellbeing and their daily routines. And of course, Stourton Park & Ride is also making an important contribution to the Leeds City Region achieving a net zero carbon economy by 2038.”

Martin Hirst, Commercial Director of First West Yorkshire, said: “Stourton Park & Ride is growing in popularity since we began the service as people discover how easy it is to get in and out from the south side of Leeds. We expect this to continue as more customers see the benefits of time and money saved through sustainable travel which helps to reduce congestion and create cleaner air in the city.

“This demonstrates how, with fully electric buses, we are building on the continued success of Park & Ride in Leeds with our regional and local authority partners.”

ADL Sales Account Manager Marie Connell said: “It is an honour to supply our electric double deck buses for West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s landmark Stourton Park & Ride project. These not only provide a sustainable travel option for commuters and visitors to Leeds, but having been built in Scarborough, these have already benefitted Yorkshire through the skilled jobs and apprenticeships their production has supported, ensuring that the funding is re-invested into our communities.”

Frank Thorpe, Managing Director at BYD UK, added, “This latest delivery is an excellent example of a partnership approach to providing a ‘total’ solution. All stakeholders involved in the project shared a strong commitment to delivering a zero-emissions public transport solution, and to bring cleaner air quality to the region.

” Our combined effort will make a real difference,” he said, “offering safe, quiet, comfortable transport for Park & Ride users, and removing hundreds of CO2-emitting cars from the road every day – a better deal for everyone.”

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