THEY are some of the biggest beasts on the roads - and come with a horrifying carbon footprint.

For decades council bin lorries and gritters have spewed choking greenhouse gases in to city and town streets.

Not for much longer, not in Glasgow at least. The city has announced that its entire fleet of 2000 vehicles will be carbon free by the end of 2029.

So it will be buying electric cars and, more controversially, hydrogen-powered heavy vehicles for its heavy fleet.

Its ambition is part of a wider bid to become Britain’s first zero net carbon city.

As a start Glasgow has secured £805,000 from government quango Transport Scotland to convert 23 winter gritters to dual fuel hydrogen.

Glasgow hopes that it can create a market for hydrogen fuel that will help other local authorities and commercial firms switch. And it recognise it will not make progress if it cannot find a solution for heavy transport.

Anna Richardson, the councillor who leads on the climate emergency, said: “Both transport providers and environmental campaigners are looking to the council to take a lead toward carbon neutrality for our fleet.

“These dual fuel vehicles should act as a significant stepping stone towards emissions-free gritters and refuse trucks as part of our wider strategy for a zero emissions fleet.

“A wide range of discussions is currently underway on we best secure green hydrogen for our vehicles and move away from traditional sources of energy.

“We are absolutely focused on ensuring renewable energy drives our fleet in future.”

Hydrogen remains controversial among environmentalists, with Friends of the Earth describing the new trucks “very expensive white elephants”.