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Ballymena-built hydrogen bus fleet enters service in Aberdeen

The world’s first hydrogen double decker bus fleet, built in Ballymena, start service routes in Aberdeen yesterday. Picture: Abermedia/Michal Wachucik
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE first of the Ballymena-made fleet of hydrogen double decker buses has entered into service in Aberdeen.

Run by one of Scotland’s largest bus operators First Bus in a project led by Aberdeen City Council, the 60-seat hydrogen buses, which emit nothing more than water from their exhausts as the fuel is made from just wind and water, represent a major step forward in reducing climate change.

The roll-out is seen as underlines Aberdeen’s role as the energy capital of Europe and its commitment to the transition of green energy from oil and gas as part of the city’s Net Zero Vision.

Earlier this month Wrightbus said it is recruiting 46 new staff from apprenticeship to managerial level as it looks to support the UK government's pledge to build 4,000 zero emission buses in the current parliamentary term.

It wants to hire coach-builders, spray painters, welders, electrical engineers, technicians, accountants, sales staff and a project manager.

Nineteen of the positions will be apprenticeships, and an international project engineer role has also been created as the firm looks to increase sales around the world.

It comes after the firm laid off 125 workers last May, made up is 35 permanent staff and 90 agency workers, and will take the total payroll back to around 500.

Wrightbus chairman Jo Bamford described yesterday as "a proud moment" as the buses entered into full operation for the first time.

He said: “Everyone at Wrightbus is incredibly proud to see the world’s-first hydrogen double decker bus fleet in full service and carrying passengers around the streets of Aberdeen.

“We will see further Wrightbus hydrogen buses in locations across the UK, with fleets due to launch later this year in London and Birmingham, and it’s vital other towns and cities sit up and take note of their example.”

He added: “Hydrogen has an important part to play in the decarbonisation of transport and the reduction in Co2 levels that we need to reach to ensure a net zero future.”

Aberdeen City Council co-leader Jenny Laing said: “These buses are a fantastic asset to the city as an entrepreneurial and technological leader as they have even more advanced technology which pushes established hydrogen boundaries and also greatly assist us in tackling air pollution in the city.”

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