‘Pooblic’ transport arrives in Bath

Travelling by bus is no longer a waste thanks to a local transport company. Introduced by Bath Bus Company, the world’s first Bio-Bus was launched and is currently being used to transport people from the city centre to Bristol airport. The bus is fuelled by biomethane gas which is generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste. According to engineering director Collin Field, it is estimated that around 10,000 people will use the bus on a monthly basis.

The initiative has been supported by GENeco; a company within and run by Wessex Water. GENeco have provided the processing needed to transform the waste into the gas required to power the bus. The company has also recently hit the headlines by being the first to introduce gas, again created by human and food waste, into the national gas grid network.
General Manager for GENeco Mohammed Sadiq told local newspaper Bath Chronicle, “Through treating sewage and food that’s unfit for human consumption we’re able to produce enough biomethane to provide a significant supply of gas to the national gas network that’s capable of powering almost 8,500 homes as well as fuelling the Bio-Bus.”

It is said that it takes only five people to generate a tank of the gas needed to fuel the bus and that, from this tank, a journey of around 190 miles can be achieved. The potential of biomenthane is so great, that it is predicted a bus load of passengers equate to fuelling a return journey from Lands End to John o’Groats which is around 1326 miles.
The introduction of the Bio-Bus is also particularly significant as 2015 approaches and brings with it Bristol’s reign as European Green Capital.

“The timing of this initiative could not be more appropriate,” said Mr Field. “With so much attention being directed towards improving air quality generally, the public reaction to the appearance of this bus on a service between a World Heritage City and an airport will further focus on the potential for this particular fuel.”

The Bio-Bus has also attracted national interest with both the BBC and The Guardian covering the story as major headlines.

What do you think? Should the Bio-Bus replace the existing services we have to and from campus? Tweet us in your thoughts @bathimpact or e-mail impact-news@bath.ac.uk

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