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London gears up for the hydrogen-powered transport

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Posted on 1/02/2013 by Wayne Brophy FCILT

With logistics providers now becoming increasingly conscious of their carbon footprint, the need for hydrogen-powered vehicles is set to become a major issue in the coming years.

Indeed, a recent report by storage solutions supplier Link 51, entitled 'Making Space to Grow', indicated that sustainable development, energy conservation and climate change are now among the top priorities for supply chain bosses.

It will therefore come as welcome news that the first hydrogen fuelling stations are set to be installed across London and the south-east, in an attempt to create what the government is calling an "integrated hydrogen transport network".

The London Hydrogen Network Expansion (LHNE) project, which is being funded by the Technology Strategy Board, will result in the creation of a "state-of-the-art fast-fill 700 bar renewable hydrogen fuelling station network", allowing transport vehicles powered by sustainable fuels to take over the running of the country's supply chain.

With commercially available hydrogen vehicles set to hit the market over the next few years, car manufacturers have been calling for the installation of 700-bar fuelling stations across the country.

If the plan is rolled out on a national level then it could change the nature of transport manager jobs in the UK, with hydrogen-based transport becoming the number one operation.

Meanwhile, the government has been taking steps to resolve the confusion regarding the award of contracts for the running of its rail service franchises.

Following the scandal over the incorrect award of the West Coast Main Line contract to FirstGroup in October of last year, the Department for Transport has now announced that it will suspend all bidding for the franchise for two years, during which time it will continue to be operated by First Great Western.

Longer-term plans for the rail network will be set out this spring, although in the meantime this should help to restore some confidence in the national transport network.

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