Come and look around a hydrogen bus

Chance to take a look at one of the new hydrogen buses that will soon be operating in Liverpool city region. Tony McDonough reports

Hydrogen bus
Hydrogen buses could be operating in Liverpool city region by the end of 2022


People are being invited to come to Liverpool to see one of the new hydrogen buses being introduced into Liverpool city region.

From Sunday, September 25, to Wednesday, September 28, a demonstrator vehicle will be on display at The Royal Albert Dock. It will give the public the first chance to view the new Metro livery and learn more about the benefits of the business.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA), which is purchasing a fleet of the vehicles, has not yet revealed details of who will supply the hydrogen. How the hydrogen is produced is critical to how much carbon is saved.

Costing £12.5m, the 20-strong hydrogen bus fleet is being built by Alexander Dennis. The money is coming from the city region’s Transforming Cities Fund. ADL will deliver the first vehicles later this year and they could be in operation by Christmas.

They will initially operate by both Arriva and Stagecoach on the 10A between St Helens and Liverpool city centre. This is the region’s busiest route. Full roll-out is not expected until around spring 2023. A facility for ‘filling up’ the buses with hydrogen will be located in St Helens.

The reveal of the new vehicle design comes just a week after the introduction of the £2 adult single fare. This makes it cheaper and easier for passengers to travel by bus across the region. Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Buses are the backbone of our region’s public transport system. More than 400,000 journeys are taken by bus every day.

“With so many of our residents relying on their services to access work, education and other vital public services, I want to ensure we can provide them with a better, faster, cleaner journey to take them from A to B.

“Our new hydrogen fleet is more spacious, more accessible, and more befitting of a high-quality service you’d expect of a modern city region like ours – and they’ll be owned by us.

“This investment in the future of our buses is only the start of our plans. We’re pressing ahead with work to reregulate our bus network to deliver much greater public control over things such as fares, timetables and routes.”

Special report: How critical is hydrogen to net zero?

With Mayor Rotheram having set a target for the Liverpool city region to become net zero carbon by 2040 at the latest – at least a decade before national targets – the hydrogen buses will be an important addition to the region’s existing fleet.

The bus being displayed at the Royal Albert Dock is an electric demonstrator vehicle shared with Transport for London. It is of almost the exact same body design as the city region’s new hydrogen buses, except for a second set of doors which are used by buses in London.

Combined Authority staff will also be on hand to explain the full range of special features on board the buses being built for the city region. These include wireless and USB phone charging, internet access and reading lights above seats.

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