Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Wrightbus Owner's Plan for Hydrogen Bus Fleet in Canterbury

Council bosses are encouraging a millionaire businessman to submit a bid for a park and ride contract after he unveiled a vision for a fleet of hydrogen buses in Kent.

Wrightbus owner Jo Bamford wants to have 3,000 “state-of-the-art” buses on UK streets by 2024 and is eyeing up Canterbury as prime location for his project.

His announcement comes as the Canterbury City Council, which last year ran a week-long electric bus trial, aims for a greener solution to its diesel-powered public transport service.

The vehicle operated on Canterbury's Sturry Road park and ride route for a week-long test that started on September 23 2019

The park and ride contract - currently held by Stagecoach - is currently out for tender and companies tabling bids for hydrogen buses are being urged to put their names forward.

The council declared a climate emergency last summer and has committed to making its services carbon neutral by 2030.

Therefore, Mr Bamford believes hydrogen-powered buses - which only emit water vapour - are the way to go.

Wrightbus says it is “exploring all options for how zero emissions can improve air quality in Canterbury”.

“Cities around the world are seeing massive reductions in air pollution as many vehicles have been kept off the road during the pandemic,” he said.

“If we just go back to how public transport has traditionally been run, levels of pollution will quickly rise again to the same levels as before the crisis.

“We have an opportunity with hydrogen powered transport to make a huge difference to air quality, and for UK jobs as well.

“With increased orders on this scale I could increase the workforce at Wrightbus by nearly 700%.