Dozens of buses powered by human waste are set to hit the roads of Bristol next year, adding to the city’s current fleet of top-of-the-range bio-buses.
The announcement comes after the UK's first ‘poo bus’, powered by methane gas extracted from human waste, was unveiled in autumn last year. Operated by First West of England, the bus began regular services along the appropriately named ‘Number Two’ route in March of this year.
The technology was developed by waste energy company GENeco, a subsidiary of Wessex Water, working in partnership with the Wessex Bus project.
Wessex Bus hopes to bring a further 20 bio-buses to the city by 2019, beginning with an initial troop of ten vehicles next year.
“This is a great opportunity to increase the number of gas-powered buses on the streets of Bristol and surrounding areas, which will significantly improve air quality,” said Antony Goozee, commercial director of Wessex Bus.
Such a move, he said, “would significantly cut emissions harmful to human health”, as well as helping reduce the city’s carbon footprint.
Meanwhile, First West of England has begun working with local councils in South Gloucestershire, Bristol City, Bath and North East Somerset, and North Somerset to bring 110 double decker bio-buses to the city.
The ambitious plans, which would see almost half the city’s bus fleet comprised of bio-buses, have the potential to "revolutionise the entire public transport network," according to Jenny MacLeod, First West of England's general manager for Bristol. "If we are successful we will be leading the way in creating a fully-sustainable public transport,” she added.
Wessex Bus and GENeco and First West of England have submitted bids to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles for grants to support the schemes.