First biomethane filling station in UK open in Bristol

A new permanent biomethane gas filling station has been opened in Bristol to fuel buses on the city’s M1 metrobus route

Located at the Bristol Community Transport (BCT) depot in Bedminster, the filling station represents a £960,000 investment by the route’s operator, First West of England with support from the Low Emission Bus Fund run by OLEV.

It was officially opened by West of England mayor, Tim Bowles, and Cllr Kye Dudd, Bristol City Council cabinet member for energy and transport.

Cllr Bowles said, “It’s great to see this new gas bus filling station open, as part of our aim to help reduce congestion, improve air quality and keep people moving. It supports my ambition to improve public transport in the region, giving people more sustainable ways to travel.

“More than 70,000 people now choose to use metrobus every week and a recent passenger survey shows a 19% shift from car to metrobus. We plan to build on that success with more services and better connections as part of our wider objective of getting more people to switch to using public transport across the West of England.”

The opening of the new station on 1 July, also attended by Bristol Community Transport Chief Executive Dai Powell and First West of England’s Managing Director James Freeman, marks the end of a temporary filling station which had been installed at the Bedminster depot and had been fuelling the fleet since it came in to service in January 2019.

77 new, state-of-the-art, bio-methane buses
A major investment by First West of England will see 77 new, state-of-the-art, bio-methane buses hitting the city’s streets in the coming months.

James Freeman, managing director of First West of England said, “At First West of England, we’re taking meaningful steps to clean up the city’s air. That’s why we’re making significant investments to bring a fleet of bio-methane gas buses into Bristol, building on the legacy of the famous ‘poo bus’. The metrobus m1 route is paving the way and this new filling station means that bio-methane gas buses will now be a permanent feature in the city. With 77 more bio-methane gas buses and another even bigger filling station coming to Bristol soon, Bristol could soon be the country’s Bio-methane gas bus capital!”

The biogas that fuels the buses is provided by the Gas Bus Alliance (GBA) and comes from waste food and is supplied from anaerobic digesters across the UK. Bio-methane gas offers a more than 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases and a 95% reduction in Nitrogen Oxides compared to older diesel buses and helps to improve air quality. These new buses build on the legacy of the Bristol Poo bus, which was run on the Number 2 route around Bristol while the city held the European Green Capital title in 2015.