'Green' hybrid double-decker buses in Bath enter service

One of eight hybrid buses to be used in Bath
Image caption The fleet of hybrid buses generate battery power through a 'regenerative' braking system

Eight "green" double-decker buses are to go into service at three park-and-ride sites across Bath from Sunday.

The £2.5m fleet of hybrid vehicles, which run on diesel and electricity, will produce less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than regular buses.

It is part of a £30m public transport scheme to reduce city congestion and improve accessibility.

Buses will be run by First Group, under contract to the council, from sites in Lansdown, Newbridge, and Odd Down.

A £650,000 grant from the Department for Transport's Green Bus Fund has helped to pay for the vehicles, which have been described as "particularly well suited to the geography of Bath".

'Free energy'

"The buses are able to generate significant battery power through the regenerative braking system as they approach the city centre from the park-and-ride sites on the outskirts," said Justin Davies, from First Group.

"This allows us to save fuel as we can capture the free energy that is created by braking and use this to help power the buses."

Bath and North East Somerset Council's public transport improvement scheme also includes the expansion of the three park-and-ride sites and a regular Sunday and bank holiday service.

Councillor Roger Symonds said it was the "most significant upgrade since the service started a generation ago".

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