Successful trial of the ‘number two’ prompts expansion bid.

The aptly named ‘number two’ Poo bus. Image by Ian S. (Creative Commons).
The aptly named ‘number two’ Poo bus. Image by Ian S. (Creative Commons).

An entire fleet of the aptly named “number two” bus, which is powered by poo, could be

joining the Bristol transport network next year. The news follows the successful trial of the

service, as reported by Western Eye earlier this year. First West of England have submitted a proposal to the government’s OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles) to expand their service to a fleet of 110 double-decker poo buses; rival Wessex Bus are also planning to introduce 20 bio-buses by 2019. If successful the bid would enable GENeco, the company responsible for supplying the fuel, to further their hopes of building a permanent refuelling station at the sewage treatment works in Avonmouth.

Mohammed Saddiq, the managing director of GENeco, said: “Our plans are for the buses to run in areas of Bristol and Bath that have the poorest air quality. It would significantly cut emissions harmful to human health.” The existing single-decker counterparts can run for 37 miles on the annual food and sewage waste of a single passenger. This waste is converted to fuel through a process called anaerobic digestion – where bacteria are starved of oxygen to produce biogas. The removal of impurities ensures (virtually) odour free emissions, which contain 30% less CO2 than conventional diesel vehicles.

Antony Goozee of Wessex Bus hopes the fleet of buses will be the “most sustainably fuelled fleet in the UK…powered by treatment of sewage and inedible food waste from the local community.”

The poo-powered buses have attracted global interest and become something of a tourist attraction for visitors during Bristol’s year as European Green Capital 2015.

By Mark Nichols