Bristol Bio-Bus trial confirmed
First West of England is to trial the Bio-Bus, the UK’s first human sewage and food waste powered bus, in Bristol from 25 March 2015. The bio-methane powered Scania single decker is to be used on Service 2 in the city. If the trial proves successful, the operator will look at the possibility of bring more such vehicles into operation in the future. For the duration of the trial, all 32,674 households along the route will, indirectly, help to fuel it. These households have their waste processed at Bristol sewage treatment works at Avonmouth.
One of the challenges of running the Bio-Bus will be refuelling it, with the infrastructure required for this at a special site in Avonmouth, where GENeco, the renewable energy and waste recycling company owned by Wessex Water, turns sewage and inedible food waste into the bio-methane gas. If a further rollout of these vehicles is made, then First would need to find a way to fuel the buses within its depot facilities. The operator is to give anyone who can prove they live within 400metres of Service 2’s route a free day ticket for travel on it and the wider Bristol network.
MD of First West of England, James Freeman, said, ‘Since its original unveiling last year the Bio-Bus has generated worldwide attention and so it’s our great privilege to bring it to the city, to operate, quite rightly, on Service 2. The Bio-Bus previously made an appearance running between Bath and Bristol Airport, but it’s only actually been used once before in the centre of Bristol itself. That was on the official launch weekend of the Bristol Green Capital year when we ran free round-trip journeys on it. From 25 March we’ll be running the Bio-Bus on a set schedule for four days a week. The very fact that it’s running in the city should help to open up a serious debate about how buses are best fuelled, and what is good for the environment. In this Bristol Green Capital year, that conversation is more welcome than ever.’