Alternative Fuel Technologies and Guidance Systems for the Quayside Transit Scheme in Newcastle Upon Tyne
J Nelson and N Thorpe, Newcastle University, UK
The Tyne and Wear Quayside Public Transport proposals as outlined in the Tyne and Wear Local Transport Plan 2001-2006 include the proposal for "Quayside Transit": a public transport system linking the two urban centres of Newcastle and Gateshead with buses guided electronically along sensitive sections of the route. The Newcastle and Gateshead Quaysides have also been designated as a Clear Zones "Trailblazer" demonstration site. This paper provides the findings of research commissioned by Newcastle City Council, into the potential for alternative fuel technologies and guidance systems. Following a brief introduction to the concept of Clear Zones, the paper is structured around two main themes, namely a review of alternative fuel technologies for bus operations and an assessment of recent developments into bus guidance systems. The review of alternative fuels is structured as follows: an overview of "cleaner" fuels likely to experience widespread implementation in the UK; a summary of practical experience across Europe, including an appraisal of the effectiveness and commercial availability of alternative fuels, and an outline assessment of their suitability for the Quayside Transit route. Details of alternative vehicles are presented for the two most promising options, namely LPG andHybrid-Electric. The second main theme is guidance systems. The paper reviews briefly the findings of an evaluation of alternative guidance technologies, including the system demonstrated on the riverside transit route during the 1996 EC LIFE project. An assessment is provided of the subsequent technical developments in wire guidance.
Association for European Transport