Northern Ireland spends £100m on clean buses
In two separate projects, the government of Northern Ireland has invested more than £100m in its zero-emission bus fleet. Already as part of this scheme, 80 battery-electric Wrightbus buses purchased by Translink have just been unveiled.
The investment in zero-emission public transport in Northern Island is made up of two parts. Firstly, as part of her £74 million investment the purchases are being made for 100 zero-emission buses, which includes 20 hydrogen-fuelled buses and a programme of associated infrastructure works.
Here, the Northern Ireland infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has just unveiled the first of 80 electric double-decker buses due to be in passenger service in Belfast in spring 2022. These electric buses have been purchased by the public transport authority Translink under an existing framework contract from Wrightbus. The Electroliner buses have a fast-charging time of two-and-a-half hours which gives them a range of 150 miles per charge. The Northern Ireland government says that these will be exclusively supplied with renewable electricity.
Wrightbus MD, Neil Collins, said: “Alongside the 20 Hydroliner hydrogen double-decker buses, the zero-emission Electroliner bus – which is the fastest charging of its kind on the market – will help Belfast achieve its net-zero targets by significantly reducing the amount of CO2 emitted across its public transport network.”
Chris Conway, Group Chief Executive, Translink added: “These new zero-emission buses will make up around one-third of the Translink Metro fleet helping improve air quality in Belfast. They will also offer the latest standards in comfort, quality and accessibility with in-seat USB chargers, WiFi and new accessibility features.”
For the second part of the zero-emission bus initiative, Mallon also just announced funding of around £30 million for 38 new zero-emission battery-electric buses. This should be a mixture of 28 single- and 10 double-deckers for Foyle Metro in Derry. These will replace the entire Foyle Metro fleet and will be put into operation for all Derry’s urban city services when they arrive in 2023.