Greenlines Electric Bus Project

Electric buses were introduced on Leicester’s Park and Ride services on 24 May 2021.

This significant change is part of the wider Greenlines Electric Bus Project, aimed at improving air pollution, relieving congestion and improving accessibility. 

Electric buses will first be introduced on the Park and Ride services:

  • 103 : Meynell’s Gorse P&R site – City Centre
  • 203 : Enderby P&R site – Leicester Royal Infirmary – De Montfort University – City Centre
  • 303 : Birstall P&R site – Abbey Lane/Space Centre – City Centre
What other services will have electric buses?

The next funded stage of the Greenlines Bus Project sees the conversion of the Hospital Hopper to electric in Autumn 2021.

The final funded stage sees the introduction of a brand new electric free city centre shuttle in Autumn 2022, linking the bus and rail stations to all main central attractions.

See the Leicester Greenlines Network Map (PDF, 33 KB) here.

Are there plans to improve other routes?

It is planned to seek funding to convert and improve the Circleline 40 service to electric in the near future in partnership with Centrebus

In addition there are plans to further develop existing and new Park & Ride electric services and sites across Leicester.

We may also look to go into partnership with bus operators to enhance other key bus services to emerging new developments, moving these to electric and giving them a full ‘tram’ makeover.

However, this will all require significant additional local and national funding which we are hopeful of securing over the next 2-3 years.

Why choose these services?

These are a network of services which are specifically focused at journeys requiring connection – from park and ride sites, bus or railway stations.

They provide links to other services, enabling longer distance access for work, education, health and leisure purposes. By providing an alternative to car travel, they help relieve congestion and improve air pollution.

All these services require continued financial support to be sustainable. Investing in electric buses, helps reduce these ongoing costs.

What other new features will the Greenlines have?

All services on this network will have ‘tram-like’ features:

  • fully electric – quiet, clean, smooth
  • distinctive new branding
  • on board electric screens, free wifi and USB points at every seats
  • free park and ride sites – existing and new
  • significant bus priority measures on roads and at junctions
  • real-time arrival information at all stops
  • digital ‘best fare’ capping
  • new shelters

Over the next 18 months significant bus priorities on Abbey Lane and Soar Valley Way are being implemented.

Two new park and ride sites at Beaumont Leys and General Hospital will complement the improvements to the Hospital Hopper service, within a partnership with the University Hospital Leicester and Centrebus.

All Greenlines routes will also receive new bus shelters and real time information displays along their whole routes, together with automated fare capping and signal priority for late running buses. 

Will there be changes to bus fares?

There are currently promotional fares on the three P&R services.

It is just £4 return for a group ticket and £1 return for concessionary bus pass holders and for ENCTS pass holders. 

Travel is currently free of charge for NHS staff with a valid ID.

All buses accept contactless payments. 

How has it been funded?

The overall cost of the electric buses for the first stage of the project is £7.1m. The vast majority these funds have come from our successful Transforming Cities Bid to the Department of Transport.

The other complementary works – bus priorities, real time display, digital ticketing etc – will cost a further £7m, funded from the same bid.

Future plans are subject to successful fund raising ideas, including the proposed Workplace Parking Levy.

Who manufactures and operate these buses?

The Greenlines electric Park and Ride services are operated under contract to Leicester City and Leicestershire County Council by Roberts Travel Group.

The electric buses are supplied by Pelican Bus and Coach – a long established distributor of buses based near Leeds.

The buses are manufactured by Yutong, the worlds largest supplier of electric buses, with over 100,000 in operation. They have been operating in Europe for over five years and in the UK since 2017 with over 430 buses.

Could the buses run out of power?

The electric buses will not run out of power whilst in service. The buses are fitted with 422kWh batteries and are capable of a daily operational range of over 300kms on a single charge – more than sufficient to operate the current P&R services, including the trip to and from the depot.

An allowance has also been made for mileage reduction over time as the battery degrades.

How are these buses environmentally friendly?

Alongside Roberts Travel Group, we have partnered with Zenobe Energy who ensure that the electricity used by the buses will be purchased through a green tariff. This will be from a supply with a renewable energy guarantee of origin certification (REGO).

These buses emit significantly less exhaust emissions than the current diesel buses operating on these services. They have Ultra Low Emission Bus Certification, with the predicted yearly P&R fleet savings of over 480,000,000 grams of Carbon Dioxide , over 155,000 grams of Nitrogen Dioxides and nearly 11,000 grams of Carbon Monoxide.

This is ‘well to wheel’ savings equivalent of over 100 cars on the road all year.

In addition, there are substantial financial operating savings with fuel cost predicted to be cut to 20% of current costs and maintenance to 33% of current costs.

The elements mined to produce the batteries supplied are iron, phosphate and lithium. There are some concerns in relation to mining of cobalt, but this is not used in these batteries.

Are the buses elderly/disability friendly?

All buses are low floor and compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

The Yutong E12 electric buses ordered by us have a seating capacity of 39 seats and 30 standing – a similar capacity to the current buses.

Why choose this bus?

The buses have been purchased following a detailed open tender process, with assessment based on both quality and cost. This includes a comprehensive 5 year warranty.

Research into driver and passenger acceptance in other UK cities showed a 94% rating from passengers and 96% from drivers, in contrast with scores in the region of 70-80% on the other vehicles tested.

There is separate air-conditioning for the driver and the passenger saloon. With no engine vibration or noise, the saloon is further enhanced with LED lighting and separate USB charging points. As with all electric buses, heat build-up in the rear of the saloon in summer is eliminated.

The buses are also equipped with CCTV and two large LCD interior screens showing real time bus arrival times and dynamic route mapping.

The manufacturer Yutong is one of the largest electric bus manufacturers in the world, with the experience of thousands of buses with the same battery and drive train in service.

Do these buses look different to other buses?

Yes, all these buses have a distinctive shape due the large battery packs on their roofs. They also have a brand new eye-catching livery and are all painted in a vibrant green colour. 

Inside they have upmarket flooring, bespoke seating with plenty of leg room, USB charging, free Wi-Fi and on-board information screens.

Where can I find out more?

You can visit our partners websites for more details:

Pelican Yutong   


Roberts Travel Group