First runs Bio-Bus in Bristol

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The UK’s first ever bus powered on food waste and human poo made an appearance in Bristol city centre on January 24-25, thanks to a partnership between bus operator First West of England, GENeco, Scania GB and RoadGas.

The bus – which First hopes to bring into service in the city in the coming weeks and months (as a demonstration vehicle) – was initially used on January 24 as part of the Bristol Green Capital launch weekend activities. First is a tier one sponsor of Bristol Green Capital Year and has pledged, as part of its involvement, to investigate the use of different fuel technologies over the next 12 months.

Supporting its commitment to Bristol Green Capital, and following agreement with GENeco – a subsidiary company of Wessex Water, Scania GB and Roadgas, First operated the bus last weekend, using it to run a series of short round trips from Bristol city centre. The bus ran between 11-1300hrs, and then between 14-1600hrs, leaving the city centre roughly every 20-30 minutes. It was free to travel on the bio-methane bus on the day.

GENeco General Manager Mohammed Saddiq said: “Gas powered vehicles have an important role to play in improving air quality in UK cities, but the Bio-Bus goes further than that and is actually powered by people living in the local area, including quite possibly those on the bus itself.

“Using biomethane in this way not only provides a sustainable fuel, but also reduces our reliance on traditional fossil fuels.”

James Freeman, Managing Director of First West of England, said: “We have been talking with GENeco for some weeks about the possibility of bringing the bio-methane bus to Bristol, to run it as part of our city-wide network during the Green Capital Year. It’s great to be able to get this partnership with GENeco off to a great start during the opening weekend by offering people the chance to ride on the bus this Saturday for free. We hope to welcome on board a great number of people who are both excited and intrigued by all the bus has to offer.”

Karen Duffett, PR Manager (West & Wales) for First UK Bus told CBW: “We are still in discussion as to what will happen to the bio-bus after this weekend. Most likely it will be used as a duplicate on different routes across the city.”