Local people invited to be the first to see the greenest buses on the road at fun event on the Old Market Square on Friday 19 May
Five of the buses – one from each route the first 30 buses will be operating on – will be parked in the square from 10am until 6pm, and will be officially launched by Nottingham’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Mike Edwards at the start of the event.
This occasion marks an exciting time for Nottingham’s award-winning bus operator, as it sees a £17m investment in the greenest buses on the road finally begin their journeys in and around the city this summer.
The innovative move to bio-gas vehicles began last July when NCT, working in partnership with Nottingham City Council, successfully bid to receive £4.4m in funding from the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Since that time, and adding its own investment of a further £12.4m, the bus operator has worked closely with manufacturers Scania and Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), together with local companies Roadgas and ZF Transmissions, to create bio-gas infrastructure at Parliament Street Garage and state-of-the-art buses that will pave the way for Nottingham’s public transport of the future.
“We are hugely proud of our new bio-gas buses,” says NCT Engineering Director, Gary Mason. “This is the largest order for gas double decks in the world and is the culmination of our extensive research into alternative fuels.”
Gary Mason provides a further explanation of the proven bio-gas technology, “Bio-gas is produced naturally through anaerobic digestion, using food waste, farm waste and sewage. The methane emitted from the digestion process is captured, treated and turned into fuel. When this fuel is used, emissions are 84% lower than their diesel counterparts, thereby making them – from ‘Well-to-Wheel’ the greenest buses on the road.”
The engines and chassis of these sleek new Enviro400CBG City vehicles have been developed by Swedish giant Scania and are bodied in Britain by the country’s largest bus manufacturer, Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL).
Tony Tomsett, Bus, Coach and Engine Sales Director for Scania (Great Britain) Limited added: “Nottingham City Transport has a long-standing reputation for innovation and is once again leading the way with these vehicles, which represent the world’s largest ever order for bio-gas-fuelled double-deck buses. We now look forward to working with the Nottingham team to ensure the city realises the maximum environmental and operational benefits offered by these vehicles.”
Richard Matthews, Sales Director at ADL, commented, “We’re delighted to partner with NCT and Scania on this significant order which responds to the city’s requirements to improve street level air quality, while delivering a first class on-board experience for passengers. We’ve seen the increase in bus ridership our Enviro400 City styling and enhanced interior specifications bring – USB power sockets, comfortable seats and a bright, airy environment from the increased glazing all add to the premium feel which we know passengers appreciate.”
With a stunning exterior design, characterised by smooth flowing lines, large areas of the front are painted in the bus routes’ colours, making it easy for passengers to identify their bus from a distance. Once on board, a glazed staircase brightens the way to the upper deck where the deep side windows and glazed rear dome further add to the light and airy contemporary styling. Elegantly-designed, comfier seats and USB power sockets at most seats, plus NCT’s standard free 4G Wi-Fi will keep passengers connected.
Local people – many of whom will be regular NCT passengers – will be invited to hop on board these exciting new double decks, and meet the team behind the scenes, including representatives from Scania, ADL, ZF Services UK and Roadgas. Amongst NCT’s specially-created green scenery, there’ll be lots of information, ‘green giveaways’ and complimentary teas and coffees provided by local company Blend.
“Our bio-gas buses will be cleaner, quieter, smoother and we’re encouraging everyone to come on down to the Old Market Square on the 19th May to experience them for themselves,” says Gary Mason.
Councillor Jon Collins, Nottingham City Council’s Leader and Portfolio Holder for Strategic Infrastructure, said: “This provides a great opportunity to see just how Nottingham City Council and NCT have been working together to significantly improve our city’s air quality. We are leading the way for the UK’s future bus travel and shaping our future as the UK’s greenest transport city.”
NCT’s first 30 bio-gas buses will begin operating on routes 6, 10, 24, 25 and 44 from the summer, with a further 23 being added to the fleet early next year on routes 36 and 45.
Further details are online at www.nctx.co.uk/gasbus