Liverpool City Region’s innovative hydrogen-powered buses have begun their maiden journeys today.
This comes as part of a green initiative by the City Region Combined Authority, which has acquired 20 such state-of-the-art vehicles. The first of these buses started its public service this morning, leaving from the St Helens bus station.
Over the past few weeks, drivers have been extensively trained and buses tested across the region’s roads to ensure a smooth transition. The deployment of these advanced vehicles aligns with the recent introduction of brand new class 777 trains across several lines on the Merseyrail network. Additionally, the city region is progressing towards its own ‘franchising model’ to bring the region’s buses under the highest level of public control since the 1980s.
These hydrogen-powered buses are set to service the region’s premier ‘green route’, presently covered by the 10A services. This route, being the busiest in the city region, connects St Helens and Liverpool city centre, traversing areas like Knotty Ash and Stoneycroft.
The new zero-emission buses are designed to provide improved services to all passengers. They offer increased capacity for wheelchair users and those with prams or buggies. Passengers can also benefit from the added amenities like wireless and USB phone charging, internet access, and reading lights positioned above seats.
For enhanced safety, these buses are equipped with camera wing mirrors. They also feature audio and visual announcements for upcoming stops, with high-definition onboard screens displaying journey progress, next stops, and real-time information on onward travel connections.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, who spoke during the testing phase of these vehicles, asserted that the introduction of the buses “is just a down payment on my wider ambitions for our bus network”. He further stated, “We’ve already brought the cost of a single journey down to just £2 and have frozen the MyTicket at £2.20, giving young people unlimited, all-day travel across our area. Very soon we’ll be launching a public consultation on the future of our buses as we work towards re-regulating our network, meaning that buses will be run in the interests of passengers.”
Rotheram emphasized that this initiative is a significant component of his plan to establish a London-style transport network that is “faster, cheaper, cleaner, and better connected”. He concluded, expressing his eagerness to see people onboard these new buses very soon.
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