... the first of their bigger batch. In Essex. There are four in Chelmsford and, on Thursday, Minister Norman Baker launches similar vehicles for the "7s" service between Heathrow, Slough and Maidenhead.
Once again, the key question is this. Will the fuel savings ever be sufficient to offset the higher capital cost of these beautiful (?) brutes? It's fine whilst nice Government ministers are giving away wads of cash by way of grants, but how goes it when the companies have to pay the whole whack? A vehicle is, typically, about 50% more expensive than a conventional bus and the grant funds the difference, less operating (fuel) cost savings.
Looks good, attracts the locals etc BUT, surely a permanent facility in a town the size of Watford is essential. Currently there is nothing! It's not much good when the van goes away, is it?