THE first images of the interior of the new, zero-emission hydrogen bus fleet coming to St Helens have been released.

The CGI visuals give residents a look at the interiors and features that passengers on the new vehicles will be able to experience when they come into service.

It is planned that the buses will initially serve the region’s busiest route – the 10A between St Helens and Liverpool city centre, jointly operated by operators Arriva and Stagecoach.

The interior of the bus will also be decorated with a skyline frieze featuring some of the most iconic landmarks from across the region, including the Liver Building, Dream in St Helens, and Anthony Gormley’s Another Place in Sefton.

Designed especially for the city region, the buses will feature larger and more comfortable seats with unique pattern designs, just as on the new trains for the Merseyrail network.

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Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: “I’ve got bold ambitions for the future of our region’s bus network, and where better to start than bringing the fleet into the 21st century.

“We’ve made a major investment and I think it really shows. They look great.

“Our new zero-emission hydrogen buses will not only give passengers a clean, green and comfortable way to get about, but they will also act as the trailblazer in our city region’s journey to develop one of the country’s healthiest public transport networks.”

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The vehicles will also carry a range of special features passengers said that they wanted to see onboard – these include wireless and USB phone charging, internet access, and reading lights above seats.

Other new features of the hydrogen buses include camera wing mirrors to improve safety, as well as audio and visual announcements for next stops with high definition onboard screens to update passengers on journey progress in real-time.

Screens will also display information about onward connections as the vehicles approach to train and bus stations, allowing passengers to transfer between different modes of travel.

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Mr Rotheram said: “Just like our new trains, these buses have been designed and built for the needs of people in our region in mind and will be publicly owned too.

“Reforming our bus network a key part of my plan for an integrated London-style transport network that makes traveling around our region quick, cheap, and reliable and we’ve recently taken a massive next step towards doing that by agreeing that franchising is our preferred model for running bus services.”

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The 20 new hydrogen bus fleet will be directly purchased through the Liverpool City Region’s Transforming Cities Fund, and, like the new trains for the Merseyrail network, will be owned by the people of the city region.