Like many, the Bristol Central Liberal Democrats are extremely concerned about the issue of air quality in our ward. Particle pollution within Central has often exceeded safety levels outlined by both the European Union and the World Health Organisation. While the powers and services of local government to mitigate this kind of pollution caused by private transport are modest, it has far more scope to do so in terms of public transport.
In recent years Transport for London (TFL) took the bold step of investing in buses fuelled by Hydrogen Fuel-Cells. The ambitious cuts in emissions necessitated by the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone encouraged TFL to invest in Hydrogen Fuel-Cell technology. The other available alternative, Biogas technology, was considered by TFL to be outdated technology and an inefficient investment in terms of emissions saving compared to Hydrogen Fuel-Cell technology. While Biogas technology reduces vehicle air emissions, Hydrogen Fuel-Cell technology yields zero emissions. Since TFL’s investment in Hydrogen Fuel-Cell technology interest in the UK has grown to include other cities such as Aberdeen and Birmingham.
Hydrogen Cell Fuel is produced by the Electrolysis of water (the splitting of water on the molecular level into their constituent parts). Hydrogen can be sourced from renewable and non-renewable sources such as existing natural gas supplies. In the former case TFL gets its supply from Wind Farms.
Instead of investing in the Hydrogen Economy Bristol City Council, under Labour, have chosen to invest in Biogas Buses. In comparison to Hydrogen Fuel Cell buses this provides a sub-optimal outcome for Bristol residents in terms of emissions cuts. If elected as Liberal Democrat Councillors for Central at the local elections, Zac Barker and Jen Smith will both push for Bristol to take the bold leap into the Hydrogen Economy. Only through bold innovation can Bristol demonstrate its commitment to a genuinely sustainable future.