East Surrey is set to benefit from cleaner air when new hydrogen buses arrive next year, following approval by Surrey County Council of £16.4million funding to buy 34 hydrogen fuel cell buses, reports SurreyLive.
The buses will be leased to Metrobus and operate on routes around Horley, Redhill Reigate and Epsom. The buses are expected to be delivered in the first half of 2023 and are part of the council’s £32.3m plans agreed in 2020 for between 70 and 80 ultra-low or zero-emission hydrogen and battery-electric buses to cover services which require a longer range.
Metrobus has already placed an order for 20 hydrogen buses, with a £10m investment made by the bus operator, the UK Government and the EU Jive 2 project. Surrey County Council’s Environment Cabinet Member Marisa Heath told a cabinet meeting: “This is positive, it’s good news. Obviously my delivery plan is not going to go too far unless we get the transport element solved and this is another element adding towards that.”
Surrey County Council has committed a total of £49 million towards its ambition to have all buses operating in the county either zero or ultra-low emission within a decade. An additional £6.3 million will fund 50 ultra-low or zero-emission minibuses for community transport services.