Zero-emission coaches and hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion were among the technological talking points at Europe’s biggest bus and coach exhibition, which returned for the first time since the Covid pandemic. ALAN MILLAR was there to see what may come to the UK and Ireland in the next few years.

Busworld Europe — held on October 7 to 12 at the Brussels Expo next door to Heysel football stadium and the 65-yearold Atomium visitor attraction — is the manufacturing industry’s shop window for international business, a place to unveil the latest models and future ideas.

And for a first glimpse of what may come to Britain and Ireland in the next couple of years.

This was the 26th biennial show. It was meant to have been the 27th, but the pandemic put the kibosh on the organisers’ intention of staging it in 2021, making this one a reunion for those exhibitors and visitors who last met in 2019.

It was worth the wait, with 75 vehicle manufacturers among 526 exhibitors from 38 countries, of whom 182 were new to the event. The 75 bus and coach builders showed 222 vehicles inside the seven halls — ranging from driverless pods to bi-articulated bendybuses and tri-axle double-deck coaches — and placed a further 29 outside for demonstration.

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