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Derry City to have entirely zero-emission urban bus fleet by 2023

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon outside Stormont with two Wrightbus-made zero emission buses. The latest order for Derry will include 38 battery electric buses, due to enter service in 2023. Picture by Hugh Russell.

DERRY City’s entire urban bus fleet will be replaced with electric buses in two years.

Announcing £30 million of funding for 38 battery powered vehicles on Wednesday, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said it will make Derry one of the first cities in Ireland and Britain to have a fully zero-emission bus fleet when they go into service in 2023.

The SDLP minister delivered the announcement via a virtual address to a Translink organised event at the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

She said the £30m of funding is in addition to the £74m previously announced for the purchase of 145 zero and low emission buses for Translink.

The order with Wrightbus, includes ten double decker and 28 single deck buses. The funding also covers some infrastructure works.

“Their arrival will herald a new cleaner and greener era in transport for the city and will make a positive impact on the climate emergency and help enhance air quality,” said Ms Mallon.

"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.”

Translink group chief executive Chris Conway said the announcement is the latest milestone in the publicly funded transport company’s efforts to go achieve carbon net zero by 2040.

“We will have over 100 zero emission buses in passenger service next spring making up over a third of our Metro fleet,” he said.

“Now this latest order will mean 100 per cent of urban bus services within the city of Derry-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.

“There will be a mix of both single and double decker buses bringing enhanced capacity and with the latest passenger comfort features including WiFi, USB chargers and accessibility features like audio visual next stop announcements, this is great news for everyone.”

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