Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Waterbus back after trial glitch


Amphibious bus makes a splash after suffering earlier problems

Stagecoach has resumed testing of an amphibious bus service in Glasgow after technical problems halted the first trial.

The "amfibus" was grounded less than an hour after taking to the River Clyde on Monday when an airbag popped out from part of the suspension.

Trials resumed on Tuesday after repairs to the £700,000 Dutch-made vehicle.

The bus runs like a normal coach on the road but when in water uses a hull to float and is powered by twin jets.

It is one of several schemes which could be used to replace a ferry service between Renfrew and Yoker, which is to be scrapped by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport in March to save money.

Workers examine the bus on Monday
A technical problem halted river trials of the bus on Monday

Stagecoach said the "amfibus" would run by road from Braehead to the Renfrew ferry slipway, cross the Clyde to Yoker and then travel by road to Clydebank.

Stagecoach spokesman Steve Stewart said: "We thought that the bus would be particularly suited to linking the two sides of the Clyde where you can have one seamless journey from one side to the other.

"We often look at our rivers and estuaries and see them as a bit of a barrier to travel but we actually think they can be a link between two communities.

"This service we think has got big potential."

Stagecoach said an "amfibus" had only ever been used in the UK for leisure and excursions and never for commuters.

Mr Stewart said the technical trial would continue despite the problems during Monday's test.

"We had a couple of trips very smoothly back and forward across the Clyde but when we came back on one of the journeys part of the suspension which involves an airbag popped out so we are going to have to do some work to put that back in," he said.

"But it's all part of the challenges that you face when you have a technical trial and that will go back into the evaluation process."

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