According to Tales of Yore, Nottinghamshire legend Robin Hood clad himself in Lincoln green. That’s a decision he might reconsider today as Nottingham is in the process of introducing the world’s largest fleet of double-deck dedicated gas-powered Scania buses into service. In terms of their green credentials, these vehicles are set to deliver enormous benefits to the citizens of Nottingham and far beyond!
Nottingham is a vibrant centre of commerce. Myriad small firms are based in the area, and there is a thriving academic scene. No wonder, then, that more than 300,000 people have chosen to make Nottingham their home, a figure which swells to in excess of 1.5 million in the wider metropolitan area.
Alternative fuels in urban bus operations
But with success comes challenges, and in common with other leading towns and cities Nottingham has its fair share of congestion and pollution. Helping to alleviate the problems is Nottingham City Transport, the local authority-owned bus company which fulfils a total of 50 million passenger journeys a year on its extensive network of routes around the city and surrounding boroughs.
Nottingham City Transport has long enjoyed a reputation for innovation, including pioneering the use of alternative fuels in urban bus operations, the latest incarnation of which is dedicated gas power. A total of 53 Scania double-deck buses will be introduced into service during 2017/18.
A sustainable transport system
“By investing in this fleet of gas-fuelled double-deckers, we are looking to deliver substantial environmental benefits over the coming years,” says Mark Fowles, Managing Director, Nottingham City Transport. “We are expecting significant annual savings in three key areas: carbon dioxide emissions, NOx emissions and particulate matter reduction. Independent tests have confirmed an 84 percent ‘well to wheel’ saving when comparing biogas operation to Euro 5 diesel, so we are confident our anticipated returns will be turned into reality.”
By 2020, Nottingham City Transport intends to have 120-plus biogas-fuelled buses in service out of its heavy fleet of 300 buses. “That is a step-change in terms of environmental performance,” says Fowles. “As our ultimate aim is to deliver the same quality of service throughout our area, you can expect to see more of the same in the future as we continue the transition to a more sustainable transport system for Nottingham.”