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Electric bus boost for small businesses


An electric bus will take shoppers between St Stephen's Shopping Centre and The Old Town to help boost independent traders in the run-up to Christmas.

Hull City Council will start the trial service on Friday, the same day as the Trinity Outdoor Market, and it will continue for Small Business Saturday - run by the Federation of Small Businesses - on December 7.

Councillor Mary Glew, who helped secure the monthly Trinity Outdoor Market for Hull, said: "The electric bus is just another way the Council is working to help small traders to maximise on the busy Christmas period. We have already announced free parking at the Scale Lane car park which, thanks to the new bridge, gives great access to the Old Town. The Victorian Market last weekend was a huge success and I hope the bus will help do the same for this market."

The service will run every 30 mins on a route from the War Memorial bus stop on Ferensway, then Carr Lane, Alfred Gelder Street, South Church Side, Market Place, High Street then back to Alfred Gelder Street, King Edward Street, Brook Street and back to Ferensway.

Julie Buffey, who founded Trinity Outdoor Market, said: "This is fantastic news and will benefit businesses in the Old Town. It will mean people won't have to carry heavy shopping bags back to the interchange and it will really open up the city I think."

 The outdoor market runs on the first Friday of each month and will also be running an evening market on December 19 and a day market on December 21.

Councillor Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder for Energy City, said the trial would help determine whether the electric bus could become a more permament feature.

He said: "The trial will gauge the level of demand and will provide us with the opportunity to promote both areas of the city centre that includes St Stephen's Shopping Centre and the Old Town and Museums Quarter.

"The bus will collect and drop off passengers at various stops across the city centre, giving shoppers and visitors the opportunity to see some of the fantastic areas that the city centre has to offer as well as being environmentally friendly.

"We will look at how popular the service is and whether it is viable to make it a permanent service for the city centre."

EYMS chairman Peter Shipp said that, following the approach from the Council, he had been happy to use his industry contacts to borrow the bus from the manufacturers.

He said: "The bus is a very quiet and zero emission electrically powered vehicle which is charged overnight by simply plugging it into the mains at the depot. It has a range of up to 95 miles a day making it very suitable for city centre work in busy areas with lots of pedestrians."

Press release by Hull City Council

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