Gas-powered buses introduced on routes through St George

February 03 2020
Gas-powered buses introduced on routes through St George

BUSES travelling through St George and Redfield are set to get a lot greener this month.

Operator First West of England is introducing a fleet of 27 biomethane-fuelled buses to run on the 42, 42A, 43, 44 and 45 services.

The bus company is set to base a fleet of 77 gas-powered buses at its Lawrence Hill depot.

The first 10 are already in service on the m3 metrobus service from Emersons Green to the city centre via the Avon Ring Road.

Over the coming months 67 more will be introduced across East Bristol, with all buses currently running 42-45 routes due to be replaced with biomethane-powered vehicles in February.

First says greenhouse gas emissions from the new buses are more than 80% lower than the diesel vehicles they replace while poisonous nitrogen oxide emissions are 95% lower.

The move is part of First's efforts to meet Clean Air Zone requirements proposed by the city council which require operators to pay £100 per bus per day to enter the inner city from next year.

Lawrence Hill will host the city's biggest permanent biogas filling station.

First West of England managing director James Freeman said the new buses would be "part of the solution in helping to clean up the city’s air".

He said: "These 77 new biogas buses are not only 95% less polluting but will also, we hope, encourage more people to leave their cars at home and jump on the bus, with an improved level of service on offer.”

The new vehicles have free Wi-Fi and are fitted with at-seat USB charging facilities.

First says it has chosen biomethane buses over electric buses because, although electric buses have zero emissions on the road, the amount of greenhouse gas created by their production and charging is 19% higher than a biomethane gas bus. Biomethane buses also have a longer range, of 250 miles, which means they can stay on the road for longer.

Biomethane is produced from decaying organic material at landfills or biogas plants using anaerobic digestion, which involves heating waste in the absence of oxygen.