A fleet of 124 new environmentally friendly hydrogen fuelled buses will be taking to the streets of the West Midlands following the approval of a £30m Department for Transport grant.
It follows a successful bid to the Zero-emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) fund to promote cleaner and greener bus transport and will cover the cost of a refuelling facility as well as the new vehicles.
Around 24 of these new vehicles will be articulated tram-style buses set to run on the new Sprint rapid transit routes along the A34 and A45 between Walsall, Birmingham and Solihull.
Hydrogen fuelled buses emit only water vapour and therefore will improve air quality and contribute to a reduction in the bus network’s carbon footprint.
The funding tops up private bus company investment in bus fleets over the next three years to accelerate the switch from diesel buses to clean and green vehicles. Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), will now work with bus company partners and the hydrogen production industry to get the fleet up and running.
Pete Bond, director of integrated transport services with TfWM said: ‘Buses are the most used form of public transport in the region and this is welcome Government investment in our network.
‘These hydrogen buses, the All Electric Bus City scheme in Coventry and the roll out of electric vehicle charging facilities we are planning shows how the West Midlands is leading the way on decarbonising our transport and making good progress on achieving our net-zero targets.
‘Not only is it welcome to support our work to improve the air we breathe, but new modern buses, accompanied by the new bus lanes and priority measures being introduced will offer commuters a reliable and comfortable alternative to the car and traffic congestion.
‘It also presents an incredible opportunity to make the West Midlands a world leader in the new hydrogen economy.’