Hydrogen Bus Town project welcomed
Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapp’s announcement that a Hydrogen Bus Town project is imminent has been welcomed by the industry. The scheme follows up on the All Electric Bus Town, which gave English local authorities a chance to bid for funding to establish Britain’s first all-electric bus town or city.
Jo Bamford, the JCB heir and owner of Wrightbus, has backed Shapps announcement. Earlier this year, the entrepreneur unveiled plans to bring 3,000 hydrogen buses to the streets of the UK. Bamford also owns hydrogen energy producer Ryse Hydrogen.
Jo Bamford said: “We’re delighted that the Secretary of State shares our vision and belief that the UK can lead the world in hydrogen technology.
“As the producer of the world’s-first double decker hydrogen bus, we have been encouraging the Government to consider a Hydrogen Bus Town as we believe this will be a brilliant showcase of the vital role that zero-emission hydrogen buses – all of which can be produced and manufactured in the UK – can play in improving air quality.
“Hydrogen buses are essential for longer routes and heavy usage, as they can do many more miles than an electric bus and take only five minutes to be refuelled.
“The Secretary of State’s leadership and support can kick the hydrogen economy into full swing and will be a much needed shot in the arm for UK jobs and the UK economy. We stand ready to work with authorities looking to become the first ever hydrogen bus town.”
The move was announced as trade unions put their support behind the Hydrogen Strategy Now group. Among the members of this organisation are Wrightbus and JCB. UNISON, Unite, GMB and Prospect have backed calls by cross-industry group Hydrogen Strategy Now for the Chancellor to lay the foundations of a UK-wide hydrogen strategy. The group believes doing so will generate jobs and support economic growth. The four unions say in a joint letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, that they believe hydrogen is key to the UK becoming decarbonised.