In the United Kingdom (UK), Nottingham City Transport’s (NCT) fleet of 53 biogas double-decker buses will more than double in size this year, as a further 67 are to join the City Operator of the Year’s fleet. NCT has been successful in securing a further GBP1.12 million (≈ EUR 1.29 million) from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), which will be used to expand its biomethane refuelling station at its main bus depot.
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The announcement was made on February 6, 2019, at the UK Bus Summit by Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani, who commented that the government is “doing more than ever before to reduce emissions across all modes of transport and I’m delighted to see the bus industry putting itself at the forefront of this.”
Expanding the biogas refueling station is necessary for Nottingham City Transport (NCT) to be able to fuel more gas buses and this funding announcement paves the way for NCT to confirm its order for 67 more biogas double-deckers, representing a total investment by NCT of GBP20 million (≈ EUR 23 million).
In operation by the end of 2019
The first of the 67 buses will enter service in April, with further routes announced and launched throughout the remainder of the year. It is expected all 120 biogas buses will be running by November 2019. The introduction of further biogas double-deckers allowed NCT to withdraw its oldest buses (pre-2010).
With 53 biogas double deck buses already successfully operating in Nottingham and making a significant impact on reducing emissions in the city, this announcement for funding to expand our gas refuelling station paves the way for investment by NCT in a further 67 biogas double decks to join the fleet this year. This fleet of 120 biogas double decks, coupled with the retrofitting of exhaust treatment systems to our diesel buses, demonstrates NCTs support for cleaning up Nottingham’s air, contributing to Nottingham City Council’s overall clean air strategy, said Gary Mason, NCT Engineering Director.
According to NCT, biogas-powered double-deckers are the greenest buses on the road, with well-to-wheel emissions that are 84 percent lower than an equivalent new diesel double-decker.
With 120 buses, more than half the NCT double-decker fleet will be fuelled by biogas by the end of the year.
Diesel exhaust retrofit
Alongside this significant investment by NCT in new buses, the company is also fitting exhaust treatment systems to its existing younger diesel buses, following funding secured by Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council last year.
This will see all NCT buses meet the most stringent Euro VI emissions standards across its fleet within a year, supporting Nottingham City Council’s clean air strategy.
It’s great news that NCT will be able to double the size of their biogas fuelling station, which means we’ll soon be seeing even more clean, green biogas buses on our streets. Great public transport is so important – not just to help people move around the city, but also to improve the quality of the air we all breathe. Biogas buses have already played a vital part in reducing air pollution in the city, and expanding the fuelling station will enable NCT to operate one of the cleanest bus fleets in the country. We’re pleased to have supported them in this bid as Nottingham continues to lead the way in improving air quality, said Dave Liversidge, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport.