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Introduction of hydrogen buses marks turning point in race to improve air quality


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Birmingham City Council has unveiled the first of its 20 new hydrogen buses, which are set to be in operation later this year.

The new buses have been purchased as part of the Council’s Clean Air Hydrogen Bus Pilot, which looks to ‘kick-start’ the hydrogen market as a viable zero-emission fuel. It is intended that Birmingham’s Clean Air Hydrogen Bus Pilot will be the catalyst for the next generation of hydrogen buses, hydrogen production and re-fuelling infrastructure development. 

This move has been hailed as another solution to tackling the city’s poor air quality and further progress towards achieving the council’s net-zero carbon target.

Speaking in Centenary Square where the first bus was unveiled to colleagues today, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Waseem Zaffar, said:

 “Fuel cell buses offer a practical solution for cities to decarbonise public transport and immediately improve air quality.

“The delivery of the first bus is great news for our city and the rest of the region. It means that we can now work with our partners at National Express to start testing the buses, training drivers and adding livery design before rolling the buses out for the public in Autumn this year.”

The buses, made by Wrightbus, are the world’s first zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell double-deckers will be operated in Birmingham by National Express – the first in England (outside of London). 

The council has also collaborated with ITM, producing and dispensing the hydrogen fuel from the new re-fuelling hub at Tyseley Energy Park.

Cllr Zaffar added: “This will provide Birmingham with a leading role in informing debate on supportive policies for zero emission public transport.”


Written by: David Watkins

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