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UHL Hospital Hoppers go electric for more planet-friendly commutes

23 June 2022

A NEW fully electric Hospital Hopper bus service will be on the roads from 27 June, to provide a more sustainable travel option for people travelling to Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester General Hospital and Glenfield Hospital.

Electric Hospital Hopper 2022
Electric Hospital Hopper 2022

The new ‘Hospital Hoppers’ are being introduced through a partnership between University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester City council and service operator Centrebus, to support more people to choose buses over cars when travelling to and from the hospital. 

Reducing emissions from these journeys is a key part of the city’s ambitious plan to address the climate emergency and the hospital trust’s journey towards net-zero carbon emissions and a healthier population. Electric buses reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 34 percent and don’t emit any particulates or nitrogen dioxide which are particularly damaging to the health of the environment and population.

The new fleet of buses will replace the older diesel fuelled Hoppers and bolster the city’s growing ‘Greenlines’ network which already serves the city’s Park and Ride sites. The service will run half-hourly between Hamilton and Beaumont Leys via Leicester General Hospital, Leicester Royal Infirmary, the city centre and Glenfield Hospital.

As well as a new exterior and engine, the new buses come fully equipped with free USB chargers, and passenger information screens to make journeys more passenger-friendly for regular and occasional users. This focus on passengers extends to bus stops and shelters which will now provide real-time information and a “text-to-speech” facility for audible bus arrival times will support people with visual difficulties. A new bus lane installation along Groby Road is also being planned to further improve journey times.

To celebrate the launch, the Trust has opened a naming competition which seeks to honour Leicester’s health heroes. Each bus will be named after someone who has lived or worked in Leicestershire and has made a significant contribution to health or science. To nominate someone please click here.

At the launch of the electric hospital hoppers today, Leicester’s Hospitals chief executive Richard Mitchell said: “The new hospital hoppers are a great opportunity to work with partners, to reduce our carbon footprint and to make it easier for people to access health care in Leicester. I look forward to using the hoppers myself.”

Leicester deputy city mayor for transport and the environment, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: “The launch of these new fully electric buses is another big step forward in improving public transport in the city, while also striving to meet the demands of tackling our climate emergency.

“Creating and expanding the Greenlines network over the next eight years will make a huge improvement to the city’s air quality, cutting emissions and making safe, clean public transport accessible to all.” 

Centrebus director David Brookes added: “The new Hospital Hopper electric buses will provide an improved journey experience for our passengers whilst reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality in the city.  We’re proud to have worked in partnership with the city council and the hospital trust to deliver this project and we look forward to further electrification of our fleet later this year.”

Editor Notes

The electric buses and other associated new features for the UHL-funded Hospital Hopper service have been financed by the council’s successful Transforming Cities Fund bid made to central government.  

Leicester Buses Partnership

In April 2022, the city council and local bus operators launched their new Leicester Buses Partnership, which includes a comprehensive programme of closer partnership working, investment and improvements to meet both the demands of 21st-century transport and the city’s climate emergency goals to reduce emissions, boost air quality and tackle traffic congestion. As part of that work, the aim is to introduce a network of 30 frequent, reliable, affordable and easy-to-use electric bus routes over the next eight years.  More details are available on www.leicesterbuses.co.uk 

For more information contact communications@uhl-tr.nhs.uk

To access Hospital Hopper timetable click here