A 20-strong fleet of new zero-emission hydrogen buses are now on the roads in Knowsley and the Liverpool City Region.
Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, joined Mayor Steve Rotheram to see the buses in action for the first time this week.
The vehicles were designed in consultation with the public and are packed with greater accessibility and state-of-the-art features. Their launch marks a major milestone on Mayor Rotheram’s journey to build a London-style transport network for the Liverpool City Region that is faster, cheaper, cleaner and more reliable.
The buses will run between St Helens and Liverpool city centre on the busy 10A route, jointly operated by Arriva and Stagecoach.
Joining passengers on board one of the new buses, the Mayor said the state-of-the-art zero-emission vehicles, which are packed with special features including more space for wheelchair users and prams, audio visual announcements with real-time information, USB phone charging and free Wi-Fi, represent the “gold standard” he wants to see delivered across the transport network.
Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Today marks a monumental moment in our region’s history as our new publicly owned hydrogen buses enter service for the first time. This new fleet is the gold standard of public transport that our residents deserve – and signifies another huge step forward in our journey to revolutionise our region’s bus network.
“Designed in consultation with local people, these are some of the most accessible and sophisticated buses in the country with more space for wheelchairs, audio visual announcements, free phone charging and Wi-Fi. The only emission they produce is clean water vapour, which will be massive in helping our region to hit its target to be net zero by 2040 – at least a decade before national government.
“However, this is just a down payment on my ambitions for our region. Using the powers that devolution has given to us, last week we launched a public consultation to give our residents a say on the future of our buses as we work towards reregulating our network – and I would encourage all our residents to make sure their voice is heard.
“Along with our new publicly owned £500m battery powered trains, we’re putting the public back into public transport and building a 21st century London-style transport network that’s faster, cheaper, cleaner and more reliable – where no one is left behind.”