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Tower Transit in Partnership with Surface Transport

Exchanging Places events focus on understanding the dangers and risks of collisions between cyclists and HGV drivers. A bus is added at particular locations, so that cyclists have an opportunity to also understand the risks associated with cycling on the nearside of a bus and the different ‘blind spots’.


On Thursday 27 March, an Exchanging Places event took place from 07:30 to 10:00 at Procter Street (Red Lion Square, Holborn – by the route 98 stand) , using a bus and a lorry.

Cyclists frequently pass buses on the nearside and numerous bus drivers have expressed their concerns about the dangers and risks of collisions between cyclists and buses, especially when they are turning or pulling into stops. By getting cyclists to sit in the bus cab while a police cyclist passes up the nearside of the bus, the event demonstrated just how hard it is for the bus driver to see and avoid the cyclist.

The Exchanging Places initiative aims to give cyclists as well as bus and HGV drivers the chance to put themselves in each other’s shoes.

Tower Transit are  pleased to be involved in these events due to the CPC course we are running that involves a section on Cyclist blind spots. We asked one of our Trainers Chris Peter to attend the event, Chris is a keen cyclist and has been involved in designing and delivering our latest CPC programme.

There will be further events involving buses during 2014.

Chris Peter Driver Trainer with member of Camden Council

These zero emmision, Hydrogen fuel-cell buses will be in operation over a complete London Bus Route, testing day to day viability of the technology.

The total vehicles has now reached eight with the last one arriving yesterday (26 September).
Five arrived by 2012 leaving the last three to be delivered during 2013.  

London has also committed to maintaining the refuelling infrastructure which will support these vehicles in service.

fuel-cell-bus-27.9.13 web

Lea Interchange Depot was chosen to operate these vehicles on the RV1 route and a large refuelling facility was incorporated into the depot with a workshop to maintain the vehicles. 

The current contract was signed by TfL (Transport for London), ISE and partners for £9.65m. This covers not only the initial cost of the vehicles but also the specialist maintenance and replacement parts over a five year period after delivery.

TfL have also signed a contract with Air Products to maintain the 300kg/day refuelling facility and to supply compressed hydrogen for the buses

Zero-emission fuel cell-powered buses deliver environmental benefits, when compared to traditional diesel hybrid systems.  Fuel cell buses emit only water vapour, eliminating air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and particulate matter. Fuel cell buses can also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a “wheel to wheel” basis when compared to conventional technologies.

A fuel cell works using a proton exchange membrane (PEM) Hydrogen is on one side of the PEM and oxygen on the other. The PEM allows hydrogen protons to pass through but does not allow the electrons. These electrons pass round a circuit, providing the bus with electricity, to re-join the hydrogen and oxygen atoms producing water.

The hydrogen fuel cell buses operated by Tower Transit for TfL use a hybrid electric system with the hydrogen stored in tanks on the roof.

The only emission from a fuel cell bus is water, which forms a vapour cloud as it leaves the exhaust as it enters the atmosphere.