Skip navigation

The Decarbonisation of transportation: Employer Champion Case Study

decarbonisation of bus depot

This article has been created to highlight a decarbonisation project delivered by one of the Society for the Environment’s Employer Champions, J B Langley.

J B Langley provides architectural, engineering and surveying services. We have been established for over 30 years and have a wealth of experience within our team. We are a CIAT Chartered Practice, CABE Chartered Building Engineers, RICS Regulated, a CIOB Chartered Building Consultancy, as well as been proud CEnv Employer Champions.

We offer a whole host of environmental services, covering a variety of sectors and contract values.

Our multi-disciplined approach has a strong environmental backbone. Our team are passionate about this sector, and we strive to achieve sustainable, well-engineered, design solutions. We pride ourselves on being an innovative design practice that goes beyond traditional boundaries to deliver unparalleled solutions. Our unique approach allows us to tackle complex challenges with an integrated mindset, ensuring that every project benefits from a comprehensive range of expertise.

We are quickly establishing ourselves as industry leaders in the decarbonisation sector, with an ever-expanding portfolio in this specialised field.

The project

Project Name: Decarbonisation of Passenger Transportation

Client: First Bus Group

Location: Nationwide Projects.

Case Study Location: Leicester.


The transportation sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to electric drive buses can significantly reduce carbon footprints.

First Bus Group have taken the decision to fully electrify their bus fleet, a huge and ambitious challenge. J B Langley’s Engineering Division is working as part of a larger design team of sector professionals, providing expert knowledge and assistance to achieve this goal.

In total, J B Langley has been involved in electrification of First Bus Group’s Leicester Depot and is currently working on sites at Bramley, York, Norwich and Hoeford.

With approximately 60+ sites over the UK, First’s overall goal is to decarbonise their entire fleet. J B Langley are at the forefront of this mission and are delighted to be involved in these projects.

  • Contract Length – 6-8 months
  • Contract Costings – Leicester Case Study
  • Infrastructure Contract Value: approx. £3m.
  • Total Depot Investment Value: approx. £15m.
  • Leicester Depot total bus numbers = 65no.

Recommendations for other companies in the sector

Never one project is alike and never one project is straightforward. Over the years, J B Langley has become an industry expert in this field, having faced unique challenges in this newly emerging market.

One constant throughout our extensive electrification works portfolio is that sites need to remain fully operational throughout the duration of the contract. In addition, and due to the unique nature in which buses are ‘stack parked’, available space to install chargers is challenging.

To overcome this problem, JBL’s Engineering Division carried out a full structural analysis and design of 4no steel frame truss gantries, supported on 4no columns per frame, set at a height of 5.5m. This ensured double-decker buses could comfortably pass underneath. The 35m span was designed to support both the charger units and cable reels for each parking bay, proving easy access for maintenance. In addition to the structural design of the main frame, JBL provided full foundation, connection and secondary steelwork details to facilitate the installation of the gantries, chargers and reels. This allowed the depot to be able to operate as normal, whilst minimum space was handed over to the electrician infrastructure.

The gantry fabrication was constructed off site and each gantry were delivered in 3no sections. Each gantry was assembled in one day, whilst the fleet was in use. Buses returned to the site with the overhead gantries fully constructed, providing no disturbance to operations.

Floor mounted charging would have significantly diminished overall parking space and capacity. This innovative solution has avoided the need to excavate services trenches, which would have inevitably impacted on the site’s effectiveness and increased project costs.

J B Langley’s close discussions with the design team and onsite installation teams resulted in safer and more cost-effective approaches to site assembly of cable runs / services.

J B Langley’s Engineering Division has been responsible for the structural design detailing of similar, but simpler approaches, on multiple First Bus Depot decarbonisation projects such as Hoeford, Bramley and Norwich.

Employer Champions

Our Employer Champions are committed to championing their environmental experts. The continual development and recognition of environmental professionals is something to be celebrated.

If you are interested to learn more about our Employer Champions programme, or to become an Employer Champion visit the websites below:

Become an Employer Champion

Statements on this blog reflect the views and opinions of the author(s) credited and they do not always represent the views or policies of SocEnv. The blogs shared on the SocEnv website are intended to be thought-provoking articles for informative and educational purposes only.