Bristol

Bristol hybrid buses trial given £1m government grant

Rupert Street, Bristol Image copyright Google
Image caption Rupert Street, a busy bus route in the city centre, has the highest concentrations of nitrogen dioxide of any site in the Bristol network

Hybrid buses that automatically switch from diesel to electric power in areas with poorer air quality are to be trialled in Bristol.

The city has been given a £1m grant from the government to buy a number of hybrid buses, to coincide with its year as European Green Capital.

Bristol City Council will launch a competition to select a bus operator to begin the trial in the summer.

The exact areas of the city the buses will operate in has yet to be decided.

The new diesel-electric hybrid buses will use "geo-fence" technology - which uses GPS or radio frequencies to define and recognise geographical boundaries - to automatically switch to zero emissions when entering particular areas of the city.

The "trigger zones" will be set in places with poorer air quality and the council will use the data collected to evaluate the benefits for the city environment.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said the ground-breaking trial would "make a real difference in improving people's lives in Bristol".

'Most liveable city'

"The DfT's £1m funding will provide greener buses to help tackle poor air quality across the city," she said.

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson said it was "perfect timing" for the city to test such advanced technology.

"We need to exploit these new technologies to help us reach a future where we can all enjoy cleaner air, and a healthier future," he said.

"Air quality improvements improve health and bring a higher standard of living which will contribute further to Bristol's reputation as the most liveable city in the UK."

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