The first vehicles are set to be delivered later in 2022
The first images of the interior of the new, zero-emission hydrogen bus fleet coming to the Liverpool City Region have been released. The CGI visuals give a sneak peek at the interiors and features which passengers on the new vehicles will be able to experience when they come into service.
We’ve made a major investment and I think it really shows; they look great!
The latest press release issued from the LCR Combined Authority newsroom says that the buses will feature larger and more comfortable seats with unique pattern designs, just as on the new trains for the Merseyrail network.
The vehicles will carry a range of “special features” passengers said that they wanted to see onboard, including wireless and USB phone charging, internet access and reading lights above seats.
The buses will be some of the “most accessible in the country”, with increased capacity for wheelchair users and passengers with prams or buggies.
Other new features of the hydrogen buses include camera wing mirrors to improve safety, as well as audio and visual announcements for next stops - with high definition onboard screens to update passengers on journey progress in real time.
Screens will also display information about onward connections as the vehicles approach train and bus stations, allowing passengers to more easily transfer between different modes of travel - a key part of Mayor Steve Rotheram’s plans for an integrated London-style transport network for the Liverpool City Region.
In 2021, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched England’s first ever hydrogen double decker buses in a move towards making the bus fleet zero-emission and cleaning up London’s toxic air.
LCR Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “I’ve got bold ambitions for the future of our region’s bus network and where better to start than bringing the fleet into the 21st century?! We’ve made a major investment and I think it really shows; they look great!
“Our new zero-emission hydrogen buses will not only give passengers a clean, green and comfortable way to get about, but they will also act as the trailblazer in our city region’s journey to develop one of the country’s healthiest public transport networks."
Earlier this year it was announced that the local leaders on the Combined Authority voted unanimously to confirm franchising as the region’s preferred future model for running the bus network and services - a move that would reverse the industry’s deregulation in the mid 1980s.
Mayor Rotheram said that franchising would allow passengers to enjoy cheaper, quicker and more reliable services and was now identified as the preferred option to deliver a bus network designed around the needs of local people, not private shareholders.
The franchise system would still involve services being run by private operators, but would allow city region leaders to set fares, timetables and routes.
The Metro Mayor has set a target for the Liverpool City Region to become net zero carbon by 2040 at the latest and says that the 20 hydrogen buses will be an important addition to the region’s existing fleet, which is already more than 70% low emissions.
The hydrogen buses are being built by Scottish bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), with the first vehicles set to be delivered later in 2022. They are part of a new generation of hydrogen vehicles from ADL which are designed to be more energy efficient to cover greater distances between refuelling.
It is planned that the buses will initially serve the region's busiest route - the 10A between St Helens and Liverpool city centre, jointly operated by operators Arriva and Stagecoach.
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