WORK has started to bring the first fleet of zero-emission electric buses to Barnsley.

Electrification work has begun ahead of the arrival of the first fleet of 23 buses.

The new electric Yutong buses will be introduced on the region’s bus network in the spring and will feature on the 22x and 221 routes which connect the Dearne Valley across Barnsley.

The Department for Transport (DfT) contributed £8.35m and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) also put in £2.68m.

The contractor, EO, will install 23 chargers as well as two mobile workshop chargers at depots which will facilitate the running of the zero-emission fleet.

South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard, said: “We think around 200,000 people in South Yorkshire live in areas vulnerable to air pollution and one in 20 deaths here are related to poor air quality.

“That’s a challenge we simply have to address and why we need to get cleaner, greener vehicles of all sorts on our roads.

“Not only will they help improve public transport, they’ll make a real contribution to us hitting our net zero goals, and making our air cleaner.”