£66 Million Decarbonisation for Northern Ireland
The decarbonisation of public transport in Northern Ireland has taken a significant leap forward with a new contract for 145 zero and low emission buses.
Representing an investment of around £66 million by the Department for Infrastructure, the programme will include the buses supplied by local firm Wrightbus and the associated infrastructure.
They form a key part of Translink’s Net Zero Emissions Strategy and will be fundamental in creating cleaner and greener transport to positively impact the climate emergency and air quality.
The 100 zero emission buses comprise of 80 Battery Electric Vehicles and 20 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles and will be the most environmentally friendly buses in Ireland. They will be deployed between Metro in Belfast and Foyle Metro services in Derry. There will also be 45 low emissions buses for Ulster bus services across Northern Ireland.
“Cleaner, greener, sustainable transport is key to protecting our environment and fighting the climate crisis. I have an ambitious vision for a low carbon future where we make low emission public transport accessible to people and communities across Northern Ireland.
“I have been clear since coming to office that we must act now to deliver the change that our communities and our citizens deserve.
“Following my budget announcement in June, we are now seeing the investment of almost £66 million for the purchase of zero and low emission vehicles filter down to our local economy, with Wrightbus producing the 145 new vehicles that will enter the Translink fleet and be put into public service.
“My Department has been allocated funding of £50m from the New Decade New Approach agreement to purchase 100 zero emission public transport vehicles and I have allocated £16 million from my budget to fund the other low emission buses.
“Today marks a very positive step forward that will create jobs, encourage investment, as well as being pivotal in cutting the level of emissions.
“As well as reducing pollution, the new vehicles will have additional safety features and improved comfort and accessibility, helping to grow passenger numbers, increase overall customer satisfaction and make public transport a more attractive and efficient alternative to private cars.”
“Translink is leading the transport transformation to net zero emissions, we are responding to the climate emergency and driving positive change for a healthier and more sustainable transport for future generations.
“This bus order is just the start of an exciting new era for public transport in Northern Ireland as we work to build back responsibly following Covid 19. Investment in a new zero emission fleet is great news for everyone, helping tackle the global climate emergency we all face and improving local air quality.
“We have ambitious targets to operate a zero-emission public transport fleet across Northern Ireland by 2040 and this development is an important first step. They will also deliver the highest levels of passenger comfort, convenience and accessibility.
“As we progress this critical journey to net zero emissions transport, we will work with all stakeholders collaboratively to harness a shift in attitudes and behaviours towards more sustainable transport for future generations.”
All the new buses are due to be in service during 2021/2022.
This article was originally published by Translink.
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