23 Mar 2021
A new project which is seeking to bring 20 hydrogen powered double decker buses to the streets of the Liverpool City Region will take an important step forward with the project business case and funding set to be approved at an upcoming Combined Authority (CA) meeting on 19th March.
The state-of-the-art zero-emissions vehicles will be directly funded by the Combined Authority and, like the new trains for the Merseyrail network, will be owned by the people of the Liverpool City Region.
The new buses will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells, safe and reliable technology which lends itself well to heavy duty vehicles such as buses.
The project – which is set to secure a funding boost of up to £12.5m from the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) – is a key part of the Metro Mayor’s ‘Vision for Bus’, which commits to using the powers available through devolution to build a better, more reliable and affordable bus network for the Liverpool City Region.
The announcement also follows the publication this week of the government’s National Bus Strategy.
Plans for the hydrogen bus project also include the building of refuelling facilities, which will be the first of their kind in the North West. Construction on the new hydrogen refuelling facilities is planned to begin later in the year.
With the Metro Mayor having set a target for the Liverpool City Region to become net zero carbon by 2040, hydrogen buses will join the existing fleet in the city region which is already more than 70% low emissions, via the use of cleaner engines, hybrid and electric power and biomethane gas.
It is anticipated that the buses will initially serve the 10A route between St Helens and Liverpool city centre – the City Region’s busiest bus route, operated jointly by Arriva and Stagecoach.