More low emission ‘poo buses’ sought in Bristol

A fleet of 20 low emission buses running on human and inedible food waste could be running in the city by 2019

A fleet of 20 low emission buses running on human an inedible food waste could be running in Bristol by 2019 under plans submitted to the government for additional funding.

The Bio-Bus runs on human waste

The Bio-Bus runs on gas generated from sewage and food waste

Bus company Wessex Bus has lodged a proposal in partnership with waste to energy firm GENeco to the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) for a grant of £2.5 million to get the project underway starting as soon as next year.

It follows the first ‘poo powered’ bus launched as a trial by the two companies’ in Bristol last year in a bid to boost local air quality (see story) — a trial described as “incredibly successful” by the two firms. The bus runs on gas generated from sewage and inedible food waste.

And, under the latest bid for funding from the government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme, more of these buses could be rolled out, with 10 planned for 2016 and a further 10 planned in Bristol for 2019.

The first ‘poo bus’ had been operated by Bath Bus Company to take passengers from Bath to Bristol Airport, but in January it started providing a service along the Number 2 route in Bristol.

Refuelling station

According to Mohammed Saddiq, managing director of GENeco, if the latest bid is successful, work to build a permanent refuelling station at Bristol sewage treatment works in nearby Avonmouth would start immediately.

“Our plans are for the buses to run in areas of Bristol and Bath that have the poorest air quality. The majority would refuel at our treatment plant, but we will also look to provide a mobile refuelling unit that could be used by Wessex Bus at depots other than their Avonmouth site.

“It would significantly cut emissions harmful to human health and because the buses will run on gas from renewable sources, it means each gas bus would have an 80 per cent less carbon footprint than a typical diesel bus.”

Antony Goozee, commercial director of Wessex Bus, which currently runs more than 100 buses around the Bristol, Bath and South Gloucestershire area, said: “This is a great opportunity to increase the number of gas-powered buses on the streets of Bristol and surrounding area, which will significantly improve air quality.

“What’s more, we believe this would be the most sustainably fuelled fleet in the UK, as it will be the only fleet where the buses are actually powered by treatment of sewage and inedible food waste from the local community.”

Wessex Bus and GENeco will hear in January whether their bid to OLEV for funding to invest in the fleet of Scania Enviro 300 buses and refuelling plant has been successful.


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