A “masterplan” has been unveiled for the UK’s first-ever hydrogen transport hub, along with £3mn in government funding.
On 17 March, the Department for Transport (DfT) revealed plans for a first of its kind transport hub to be built in the Tees Valley, bringing together leading figures from government, industry and academia to focus research, testing and trials across all modes of transport as the UK mounts a green recovery from COVID-19. The plan is for it to be fully operational by 2025, creating up to 5,000 new jobs in the north-east long-term.
Under the DfT’s masterplan, the hub will include an R&D campus for the creation and sharing of knowledge, enabling the hydrogen transport hub to act as a living lab to understand the role hydrogen has in the energy transition for transport.
The hub will create real-world hydrogen transport pilots, with pop-up trials potentially involving shops, supermarkets, online retailers, warehouse operators and delivery companies using hydrogen-powered transport, alongside local transport operators working with the transport research and development sector to deliver emission-free hydrogen passenger services, including on-demand regional buses or zero-emission refuse vehicles.
Establishing the hub will support understanding of the role hydrogen has to play in meeting the 2050 net zero target, informing investment decisions and export opportunities.