European Green Capital receives £1m in funding from DfT to trial innovative bus technology
Bristol city council is to receive a £1 million grant from the Department for Transport to purchase a fleet of hybrid diesel and electricity buses to operate in the city’s low emission zones.
The funding was announced by Baroness Kramer, minister of state for transport today (January 9) described the use of the buses, fitted with ‘geo-fence’ technology, as ‘ground-breaking’.
The technology works by automatically switching diesel-electric hybrid vehicles to zero emissions once it enters a specific GPS location within the city.
The trigger zones will be set on the areas with poorer air quality and Bristol city council will use the data collected to evaluate the benefits for the city environment along with their the operational impacts for the bus service.
Commenting on the funding award or Bristol – which is celebrating its status as 2015 European Green Capital – Baroness Kramer said: “This ground-breaking trial will make a real difference in improving people’s lives in Bristol. The DfT’s £1 million funding will provide greener buses to help tackle poor air quality across the city. Today’s announcement follows the £58m Green Bus Fund which led to almost 900 new low carbon buses coming into service in England.â€?
The £1million grant from the green bus fund will be used to purchase a number of hybrid buses with geo-fencing capability.
The council will is to launch a competition shortly to select a bus operator in order start the trial before the end of the summer 2015. The exact area the buses will operate using the geo-fence technology is yet to be decided.
Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson said: “This is perfect timing for Bristol to test such advanced technology as we start our year as the UK’s first European Green Capital which is very much about the health of the city. This ‘geo-fence’ technology will enable vehicles to recognise when they enter the areas of the city where we have the most significant air pollution problems and then switch to a green electric mode.â€?