Londonderry set to roll out full electric and zero-emission bus service from July 2023

Credit: UTV
Derry Londonderry Peace Bridge Guildhall Drone
Londonderry would be the first city in the UK and Ireland to have a fully electric and zero emission fleet
  • By Local Democracy Reporter Gillian Anderson

Londonderry is set to roll out a zero-emission, full electric bus service from July this year.

It would make it the first city in the UK and Ireland to do so.

Tranlink's Bus Service and Delivery Manager, Tony McDaid said it was a "good news story for everyone".

"From early July, this summer, our full Foyle Metro fleet is going fully electric. We are installing 25 supercharges in our Pennyburn garage which means there will be enough to charge 50 buses but we are also putting in the infrastructure to allow us to up that to charge 80 buses as time goes on," he explained.

"Once that kicks in we are going to update our current timetable and increase late night services and weekend services initially.

"Then hopefully down the line, as more funding and more electric buses become available we will increase our services out to the expanding areas of the town.

"This is a £32m investment so far, I'm here 32 years so this is the most significant birthday present I ever had", he joked.

"We are also in the process of rolling out a contactless ticketing system. So you get on the bus using your phone, credit card, tap on tap off. It's a great thing and a benefit for foreign visitors coming into the city who expect to use their credit and debit cards which isn't the case at the minute.

"This makes us the first city in Northern Ireland, one of the first in Ireland, one of the first in Britain to have a full electric service."

Sinn Féin Cllr Christopher Jackson welcomed the news.

"Not only will it help secure and sustain the provision of the bus network within our city and district but given the energy crisis we are facing it is a major new boost for Translink," he said.

"It will have a massive impact on the air quality within our city and Translink in that respect are leading the way and we hope others will follow."

DUP Alderman Maurice Devenney agreed: "The news about the electric buses is great, it's a job well done. It's now about encouraging people to use the buses."

Meanwhile SDLP Cllr Brian Tierney said: "To encourage people onto public transport it has to be accessible and it has to be inviting. There's a growing sense across this city of people wanting to get out of the car and into electric vehicles and if we can offer this across this city and district all the better."

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