Saturday, 28 May 2011

New Bio-Fuel Buses Launched in Lincoln

The Lincolnshire Echo has reported on a trailblazing project that uses food waste from landfill to fuel buses has been officially launched.
A fleet of 11 Stagecoach buses, which are the first of their kind in the UK, was unveiled at Lincolnshire Showground yesterday. The programme managers say reduced emissions from the biomethane gas-powered vehicles will reduce damage to the environment.

The project was joint funded by Lincolnshire County Council, which provided £260,000 of investment, and the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA), which injected a further £100,000.

The launch ceremony was conducted by Stagecoach Group chief executive Mr. Brian Souter who said:
"Waste is a big issue for every family and household up and down the country and councils now face major taxes for landfill.

"This is an innovative way of taking something that's a big problem for society and turning it into a fuel of the future."
A special refuelling facility has been installed at Stagecoach's Great Northern Terrace depot, near Lincoln. Investment from EMDA has helped fund this new fuel infrastructure.

Ms Diana Gilhespy, executive director of regeneration at EMDA, said:
"We are delighted that these bio-methane buses are being trialed. We feel it is vitally important to explore innovative ideas for reducing carbon emissions in the East Midlands transport industry."
The project will run for six to 12 months on a number of routes in Lincoln. Lincolnshire County Council and Stagecoach will then review its success and decide if it will be rolled out across more routes in the county.

Cllr. William Webb, Conservative (Holbeach Rural Division) and Executive Member for Highways and Transport, said:
"I am delighted to be associated with Stagecoach on the launch of this project.

"It will have much benefit to the county and the people of Lincolnshire and will benefit people in the whole country."
The launch also has the approval of members of opposition in the council.

Leader of the Opposition, Cllr. Mrs. Marianne Overton, Lincolnshire Independent, (Branston & Navenby Division), said:
"I see it as a very exciting and positive step forward. It's something that all parties agree on, taking a reasonable approach to energy use."
Mr. Doug Robinson, Sustainability Officer at the council, said the use of bio-fuels suited the county because of the high volume of food that is produced and exported.

"Using electricity makes sense in towns, but in Lincolnshire we're making use of food waste and anaerobic digestion.

"The use of these engines is a balance between accessibility and sustainability."

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