Mayor calls for innovation to help make Bristol showcase for low-carbon public transport

April 11, 2014

Bristol can be a showcase for zero-emission bus technology as part of its year as European Green Capital, Mayor George Ferguson has said.

He challenged the motor industry and low-carbon sector to invest in Bristol and help it become a centre for innovation in public transport.

He was speaking at an event in the city which brought together the leading innovators of the low carbon bus industry to explore the opportunities, barriers, options and practical local arrangements around bringing zero emission buses to the West of England. 

Hosted by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Bristol European Green Capital 2015, the event was organised by the TravelWest transport team with support from the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. Transport minister Baroness Kramer sent a keynote address by video. 

Councillor Brian Allinson said: “Zero emission buses are being trialled in various parts of the country and we want them in the West of England.  We believe we can offer a number of opportunities for sub-regional large scale demonstration projects that will test and prove concepts. The Symposium was intended to get together bus operators and manufacturers to come up with ideas, innovation and solutions that will help us in making this a reality.”

The invited attendees were given a taste of the practical experience of operating low or zero emission buses in various operating environments; for example, on limited stop park and ride routes, on hilly rural routes, on multi-stop urban routes.

Attendees also heard from bus and engine manufacturers about how they are addressing the challenges the operators face and the different power options that are available – including pure electric with in-service recharging, natural compressed and biomethane gas, flywheel technology, and range extending and vehicle weight reduction initiatives to reduce fuel consumption – all having advantages and disadvantages depending on the operating environment and local circumstances.

Mayor George Ferguson said: “With MetroBus coming and 2015 European Green Capital, the West of England has an unrivalled opportunity to showcase zero emission bus technology and help us address air quality issues. This is our invitation and challenge to the industry: to come here, invest locally and be part of our success and innovation.”


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