INDUSTRY figures, campaign groups and academics have challenged the UK Government’s position on hydrogen buses.

Spearheaded by Jacob Young MP, chair of the Hydrogen All Party Parliamentary Group, a letter has been submitted to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps which has been signed by a number of organisations looking to grow the UK’s hydrogen economy, including Shell and Bosch.

It comes after Westminster earlier announced plans for a “electric bus town”, which has seen councils bidding for a £50 million grant to fund new battery electric buses.

READ MORE: Glasgow hydrogen bus plan unveiled

Mr Young said: “We can’t have our eggs all in one basket and it’s important that we look at alternative fuels like hydrogen as a way of achieving this.”

Buta Atwal, chief executive of Wrightbus, the Northern Ireland firm that last week announced plans to build 3,000 hydrogen buses, said: “We have created the world’s first hydrogen electric double decker bus, which emits only water as they move around cities.

“It is bizarre that a British designed and built bus is not eligible to be bought by a local council under this Government scheme.”

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Eman Martin-Vignerte, of Bosch, said the company believes that “hydrogen will play a major role in heating homes, powering transport and heavy industry”.

A DfT spokesman said: “The all-electric bus town is a £50m pilot programme to assess the impact of a specific technology - battery electric - on an area. This does not change our commitment to decarbonising our transport network, considering the role all technologies can play, including hydrogen.”

Aberdeen already has hydrogen buses and Glasgow has plans for hydrogen fuelled fleet vehicles.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “With the Scottish Government, we have invested over £11m in hydrogen fuel cell buses and refuelling infrastructure since 2015, and we continue to work with operators, manufacturers and energy companies towards clean, green buses for all of Scotland.”