Double-decker biogas bus trialled in Bristol

A double-decker bus powered using bio-methane captured from decomposing food waste is being trialled in Bristol by the transport operator First West of England.

Under the trial which will begin on 21 August, First will assess how well the new bus copes with the demands of city-wide operations in Bristol and how it impacts refuelling and maintenance operations.

According to First, the Scania-manufactured bus’s tailpipe emissions are reportedly lower than many modern Euro 6 diesel passenger cars. The bus’s greenhouse gas emissions are also claimed to be up to 84% cleaner than a Euro 5 Diesel on a well-to-wheel basis. Biogas is supplied by the Gas Alliance.

First West of England launches first double decker bio-gas bus in Bristol. (Picture:
©Simon Galloway 2017)

The bus has 70 seats, a wheelchair space and standing room for 13, glass windows next to its staircase, allowing a lot more daylight to enter the vehicle.

James Freeman, managing director of First West of England, said: “We are immensely proud to bring this premium double decker to Bristol so soon after the manufacturers offered it to the market. Its low emissions and biogas credentials are just what is needed in a city that is faced with air quality challenges and increased congestion. This biogas bus helps to improve local air quality as it produces fewer emissions than traditional diesel engines.”

Support

Councillor Mhairi Threlfall, Bristol city council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “I’m delighted to support the launch of the first double-decker bus using biogas here in Bristol. It’s a testament to our good partnership with First that we were chosen to be the first place in the UK to test this particular type of innovative bus technology.

“The future and health of Bristol depends on exploring low-emission technology and investments like this will help make real progress towards our air pollution targets.”

The double-deck trial follows on from initial work to test a low emission single-deck bus in the city, powered by biogas, in a trial run by the transport operator and energy firm GENeco, launched in 2015 (see airqualitynews.com story).

The company also operates two hybrid electric buses and uses a number of 100% electric passenger cars to transport drivers across Bristol to change-over points.