UK’s first electric autonomous bus service begins at Milton Park

The fully electric autonomous bus service launched at 10am on Thursday 2 March at Milton Park, giving people the chance to experience the future of green travel for free.

The current route shuttles passengers around Milton Park from the Park’s flexible workspace, the Bee House, to its Milton Feast street food market via stops on Western Avenue and Innovation Drive. Journeys further afield to Didcot Parkway train station are expected to launch later in the year.

Operated by First Bus, the 15-seat, single decker minibus is fully accessible for wheelchair and pushchair users and from Friday 3 March will run every 15 minutes between 7am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday. A qualified safety driver is on board the bus at all times, able to take control of the vehicle, if required.

The Mi-Link journey planner, developed by Zipabout, has been customised for Milton Park to provide real-time updates on the service’s operation times using every day apps including WhatsApp, the first of its kind to do so. Each bus stop provides details of the route and a QR code to scan for live updates.

The launch of the new autonomous bus service follows the project’s successful demonstration day on Monday 23 January that took place at the Park’s flexible workspace, the Bee House, attended by local business and political leaders, occupiers, Buses Minister Richard Holden MP and the project’s consortium partners.

 The free autonomous bus service will enable people visiting or working at Milton Park to travel emissions-free to key destinations around the Park, reducing the need to use a car. It’s particularly useful for people wanting to grab a tasty lunch at the Milton Feast, available Tuesdays and Thursdays. We’re really looking forward to hearing more from our occupiers, visitors and the wider community on their experience of using the autonomous bus, e-bikes and journey planner. Their feedback will be pivotal to shaping the next steps of cutting-edge and sustainable travel in the UK.

Veronica Reynolds, Sustainability and Community Manager at Milton Park. 

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