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Merseytravel and Stagecoach trial charge on the go electric bus

MERSEYTRAVEL and bus operator Stagecoach are partnering to launch a 2 month trial of a new fully electric, 0 emission bus, which can be charged on route, cutting waste and increasing flexibility of service.

Engineered by Volvo, the 7900e single deck bus will operate for a period of 8 weeks on 82 and 86 routes via Garston and Liverpool John Lennon Airport. It will be immediately recognisable by its specially ĎelectriCITYí branded livery.

The vehicle will be powered via an innovative OppCharge inverted pantograph installed at the Liverpool One interchange. Built by ABB Ltd this technology is used widely across Europe, and will charge the bus in between 3 and 6 minutes. This means that buses do not have to return to depot to charge, reducing wasted miles and potentially allowing 24 hour continuous service.

The bus has been trialled at several other key locations across the UK; including:- Manchester, Cardiff and Heathrow Airport; before coming to Liverpool. Volvo selected the City as the final area to be part of the scheme, citing the ongoing development of the Liverpool City Region, its important place within the Northern Powerhouse and future links to HS2.

Zero emission vehicles like the Volvo 7900e will be crucial in helping realise the Liverpool City Regionís aim of becoming a zero carbon City Region, by 2040.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said:- "Low and zero emission public transport has a key role to play in helping us achieve a cleaner and greener City Region. Thatís why so far, working closely with bus operators, weíve brought in buses which run on electricity, biogas or a mix of the 2 and re-engineered older vehicles in the fleet to reduce their emissions. 70% of our buses are low emission; In fact, many of them now give off less pollution than a standard diesel car. Whilst this is only a short-term trial, we hope that itís a great success. The kind of technology powering this bus will no doubt help improve air quality in the future, which will benefit the health and wellbeing of everyone in the City Region."

Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said:- "Iím delighted that Volvo has chosen Liverpool as one of the key areas to trial this technology in the UK. 1 of our top priorities through the Bus Alliance is to get more people on the bus and reduce car miles and carbon footprints. To do this, itís essential that we continue to improve the offer and benefit to customers travelling by bus. Thatís why weíre committed to investing in innovative transport technology which will not only make bus services environmentally friendly, but also efficient and flexible."

Rob Jones, Managing Director at Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire, said:- "This trial is an exciting opportunity for us and marks a step forward for greener travel in the Liverpool City Region. Stagecoach is committed to improving air quality across the country and making bus travel the safest and cleanest travel option. We continue to look for new ways in providing our customers with the best value for money service on Merseyside."

Nick Page, Managing Director of Volvo Bus UK and Ireland, said:- "Liverpool marks the 5th and final stop for the fully electric Volvo 7900e trials which have taken place over the past year. Itís been exciting watching the vehicle continue on its journey of demonstrations across the UK following the initial launch in Manchester, in September 2017. As well as the UK trials, the 7900e which is part of the Volvo Electromobility range, has been making great strides throughout Europe with successful operations underway in Sweden, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. This is the first time that all the stakeholders have come together to deliver a project which has overall been extremely successful. Increasingly the technology of vehicles is changing the face passenger transport which offers a choice to customers and a variety of options for operators. The first permanent installation using OppCharge technology in the UK is set to go live in Harrogate in the next month or so, which will mark the next phase in the development and operation of the 7900e."

David Lowen, ABB UK Product Marketing Director, Building Products said:- "We are delighted to be able to offer residents and visitors to Merseyside access to this technology and hope this tour will successfully demonstrate the huge improvement which electric buses can make on the environmental impact of public transport, with this bus delivering up to 80% lower energy consumption than its regular diesel equivalent."

Cray sea good cruise season

LIVERPOOL'S Cruise Terminal is riding the crest of a wave after notching up a record breaking summer season; with a 150% rise in visitors compared to 2017.

From April to the end of July, the facility at Princes Dock has already welcomed 57,990 international passengers and crew, with 12 more weeks of visits still to come!

So far this year the terminal has had 15 turnaround calls and 20 day visits, generating a ₤4m boost to the tourism economy, with highlights such as Cunard's Queen Elizabeth visiting, on the 80th Anniversary of the 2nd Mauritania leaving Camell Laird's.

The record breaking season caps a remarkable 10 years for Liverpool's Cruise Terminal, which is on course to have welcomed over 400 ships, 600,000 visitors and brought around ₤60m to the local economy by the end of 2018.

And there's still so much more to come with the arrival of Berlin, on Saturday, 11 August 2018, Aida Aura, Seabourn Ovation and Ocean Dream who are all making their Mersey debut in coming days and weeks.

Buoys and gulls, the party doesn't end here! In the wake of this amazing summer the City is set to welcome back Disney 'Magic on the Mersey' on Friday, 7 September 2018.

Cruise Liverpool are encouraging everybody to join them for this FREE family friendly garden party on Princes Parade to celebrate Mickey's 90th Birthday.

Councillor Wendy Simon, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool and Cabinet member for Culture and Events, said:- "Liverpool's appeal to the cruise sector continues to grow and we're now welcoming more vessels with a larger capaCity, hence our record number of visitors this summer. What is really exciting is that the new Cruise Terminal will enable us to accommodate theses larger vessels more frequently which is going to provide a great boost to our visitor economy over the coming decade."

Pete Murney, Liverpool's Head of Cruise and Marine Operations, added:- "It's been a pleasure and an honour to welcome almost 60,000 passengers and crew to Liverpool so far this cruise season. We have many more visitors to welcome in the next few weeks and are looking forward to showing them everything Liverpool has to offer."

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