Almost 40 battery-powered busses built and supplied by Wrightbus are to join Londonderry’s inner city public transport network at a cost of £30 million.
A mix of single and double decker busses, the vehicles will enter the Foyle Metro service in 2023 and come with WiFi, USB chargers and other convenience features for passengers such as audio and visual ‘next stop’ updates.
Making the announcement at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow today, Northern Ireland’s Infrastructure Minister told delegates Londonderry will become the first city in the UK and Ireland to have a fully zero-emission bus fleet.
Nichola Mallon MLA said the busses “herald a new cleaner and greener era in transport” for the city and believes they “will make a positive impact on the climate emergency and help enhance air quality”.
She added: “I have an ambitious vision for a low carbon future and I am committed to delivering cleaner, greener, sustainable infrastructure.
“I have been clear that tackling the climate crisis is a priority for me and I am committed to building a better future where we make zero/low emission public transport accessible to communities across Northern Ireland.
“These are the changes we need to see to help us tackle climate change and contribute to better health outcomes for all our population. I will continue to make positive steps to choose cleaner, greener travel.”
This new round of funding in Translink’s fleet is in addition to the £74 million rubber stamped by the Department for Infrastructure last December for the purchase of 80 electric and 20 hydrogen fuel cell low emission buses.
By Spring 2022, over a third of all busses in Translink’s Metro fleet will produce no exhaust emissions – a step seen as crucial by its Chief Executive to help make public transport in Northern Ireland carbon net zero by 2040.
“This latest order will mean 100% of urban bus services within the city of Londonderry will be zero emission not only making bus travel even more attractive and efficient but enhancing local air quality for everyone that lives, works and visits the city,” said Chris Conway.
“We would like to thank the Minister and the Department for their ongoing vision and support. We will continue to work with all stakeholders collaboratively to harness a shift in attitudes and behaviours towards more sustainable transport for a better future for everyone,” he added.