D&G Bus, which has a fleet of 169 buses and also operates across Staffordshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester and Wrexham, has been trialling an automatic system that sanitises a whole bus in minutes.
The intelligent disinfection fogging system uses an alcohol-free solution developed in collaboration with Singapore-based chemist company Biocomm and made in Stoke-on-Trent by Future Developments Manufacturing to kill up to 99.99 per cent of viruses and bacteria within seconds.
Traditionally used to clean operating theatres and by dentists, the V-Stop solution is laboratory tested and 80 times stronger than bleach, but completely harmless to humans and leaves no residue.
The patent-pending bus system was the idea of Dave Williams of Future Development Manufacturing and developed with engineer Philip Mansell and Simon Baddeley of V-Stop Systems in Market Drayton.
The technology works by pumping the fogging solution up from a bespoke reservoir and through a series of nozzles placed at intervals throughout the bus. A pre-programmed timer system is built in which can be set to sanitise at regular intervals when the vehicle is at the depot, out-of-service or on demand.
It replaces the need for buses to be cleaned by hand with a cloth and spray gun which is time-consuming, costly and not as accurate.
Kevin Crawford, operations director of D&G Bus, said: “We’re extremely proud to be the first bus company in the UK to be rolling out this pioneering technology.
“It will allow us to completely and automatically sanitise our whole fleet of buses in the middle of the night while they are parked up in the depot and without any human contact.
“As well as being a faster and more cost-effective way to sanitise, it gives us confidence that our fleet is Covid-safe and will also reassure our passengers that our buses are as clean as they can be.”
Simon Whitney, business development director of V-Stop UK, said: “Our new solutions for public transport are the perfect way to manage and deliver disinfection and sanitisation of vehicles.”
Dave Williams of Future Developments Manufacturing said: “This is a world first and has been achieved by a local company and local talents. The interest we have is phenomenal from the UK public transportation sector operators and we have already had initial enquiries from around the world.
“Bus and rail sectors have told us that our system will be a lifeline to them as it will give people confidence and encourage them to use public transport once again.”