New hydrogen bus fleet to start on St Helens to Liverpool route
The supplier has been chosen to deliver the first vehicles of a new, zero-emission hydrogen bus fleet for the Liverpool City Region.
Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) a UK based bus manufacturer was selected following a competitive tendering process.
The 20-strong, state-of-the-art fleet will be directly purchased through the Liverpool City Region’s Transforming Cities Fund, and, like the new trains for the Merseyrail network, will be owned by the people of the city region.
The new, purpose-built buses will be part of a new generation of hydrogen vehicles from ADL, which are designed to be more energy efficient to cover greater distances between refuelling.
The buses will carry a range of special features for passengers including wireless phone charging and internet access. The vehicles will also have improved accessibility – with increased capacity for wheelchair users, and audio and visual announcements for next stops.
It is planned that the buses will initially serve the region's busiest route - the 10A between St Helens and Liverpool city centre, jointly operated by Arriva and Stagecoach.
Subject to final agreement of project plan the first vehicles could be delivered as soon as 2022.
The hydrogen bus project 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 city region.
Broader plans also include the building of hydrogen refuelling facilities, which will be the first of their kind in the North West, due 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 at the latest – at least a decade before national targets - the hydrogen buses will be an important addition to the region’s existing fleet, which is already more than 70% low emissions.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: “82% of all journeys on public transport in our region are taken by bus and this new fleet will give people a clean, green and comfortable way to get about.
"Reforming our bus network is a massive part of my plan for an integrated London-style transport network that makes traveling around our region quick, cheap and reliable.
“We want to be doing our bit to tackle climate change and improve air quality across the region too.
"These buses will be a really important part of making that happen. Alongside the hydrogen refuelling facilities we’re building in St Helens and some of the other exciting green projects we’re investing in, our region is leading the Green Industrial Revolution.”
ADL President & Managing Director Paul Davies said: “With its investment in this new fleet of hydrogen buses, the Combined Authority has chosen the latest in clean technology for the Liverpool City Region. We are delighted they have put their confidence in ADL to deliver their green agenda.”
“Our next generation H2.0 platform builds on 25 years of experience in hydrogen fuel cell technology. Designed and built in Britain, these buses will help to secure skilled jobs and apprenticeships across the bus manufacturing industry which is hugely important as we continue the decarbonisation journey.”