Hydrogen is the future?

Anyone reading about the Los Angeles Motor Show, or even being fortunate enough to visit, could not have failed to notice the interest in hydrogen as a fuel. Toyota unveiled the Mirai, a hydrogen powered, medium sized car being introduced in California in 2015, while Audi showed off the A7 h-tron, a plug-in hybrid with a battery-only range of 15 to 20 miles before switching to the hydrogen powered fuel cell. VW, Hyundai and Honda either had cars on their stands or spoke of their plans to support hydrogen powered cars in California.   The key to success is going to be an adequate hydrogen fuelling infrastructure. To this end, Honda and other manufacturers are helping to fund the infrastructure in Southern California. Could this become the automotive technology of the 21st century? We discuss this in “Part 3- Technology” of our new eBook that is free to download from the museum website.

Preview of our eBook on the Museum Website

Over recent years the “Exhibitions” tab on the museum website has been the location for background articles to support past and on-going exhibitions. These include “The Impact of Motoring” and “The History of Motoring in 10 Objects”; the later shamelessly copied from the Radio 4 and British Museum’s exhibition “A History of the World in 100 Objects”.

The original 15 articles have now been updated and the content expanded into an eBook which we hope to publish in 2015. For those who would like a preview of the eBook, entitled “The Impact of Motoring”, it is now available at the Exhibitions tab above, to download in 5 parts, as individual documents. These are:

  • Preface & Aim of the eBook
  • Part 1 – Environmental
  • Part 2 – Social
  • Part 3 – Technological
  • Future & Epilogue

We hope you enjoy reading these and welcome your feedback.

Changes at the Dartford Crossing

The Dartford Tunnel, now commonly known as the Dartford Crossing, was opened as a single, 2-carrigeway tunnel in 1963. It passes under the River Thames between Dartford in Kent and Thurrock in Essex. When it opened, special London Transport double-decker buses were used to transport cyclists and their bikes: bikes downstairs, cyclists upstairs. Demand from 1960s cyclists must have been quite low as the buses were faded out within a few years. A second tunnel opened in 1980, allowing separation of northbound and southbound traffic. It wasn’t until 1991, when the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge was opened, that the full flow of M25 traffic could be accommodated. The only bottle-neck remaining was that caused by the toll booths.  Although the cost of construction was paid off by 2003, toll charges remain.

A report commissioned by the Highways Agency, over 12 years ago, estimated that the congestion caused by the toll booths is equivalent to 32,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Undoubtedly that figure has since increased significantly.

From 6am on Sunday 30 November 2014 there will be no need to stop at the barriers and by April 2015 the barriers and toll booths will have been removed, potentially reducing both congestion and air pollution. Dart Charge is the new payment regime under which motorist can either pay in advance or by phone or website up until midnight on the day after crossing.

For more about the environmental impact of traffic congestion see both the Cotswold Motor Museum publications on Air Pollution and The Route to Lower Usage on our Exhibitions webpage. You can even download them if you wish.

Welcome to our first blog

Welcome to the first blog from the Cotswold Motoring Museum and Toy Collection here in picturesque Bourton-on-the-Water in rural Gloucestershire. As a museum we have had a web presence for many years. Our website hopefully provides a good guide for our visitors and lots of detailed background information on our exhibitions for those who wish to learn more. We also have a Facebook and Twitter presence. The purpose of this blog is to encourage a better dialogue with our visitors, to keep you up-to-date with events at the museum and for you to share your thoughts with us. As the blog takes shape, we look forward to hearing from you.