Over two dozen electric vehicle charging points are being planned ahead of the future generation of buses in Craigavon!
Proposals have been drawn up for the Translink bus depot at Highfield Road.
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is being asked to approve plans for a future car parking layout.
This would involve the construction 26 electric vehicle charging points.
The plans also include a combined transformer and a number of switchroom buildings, both high and low voltage.
There would also be an area set aside for a future NIE ring mains unit and associated site infrastructure, including cable trays, parking bollards, bus wheel stops, armco barriers, lighting columns, a generator connection box and acoustic fence.
The proposals would also see minor alterations carried out to the existing bus parking area to provide modification of the existing pedestrian walkway, as well as reconfigured bus parking bays and the reorganisation of the internal car parking area.
The plan has been drawn up to have in place the technology to meet the needs of the future bus networks.
According to a supporting planning statement: “The requirement for the proposed development is because of the development of Translink’s seven-year bus procurement programme which was approved by the
Translink Executive Team and Board in June 2020.
“This programme focuses on providing the capability for a modal shift to sustainable transport, as per the draft Programme for Government. The programme looks at the current Translink bus fleet and considers what vehicles will need to be replaced over the seven-year period from 2020/21 to 2026/27 and the low/zero emission vehicles that will replace them.
“It also considers network and any fleet enhancements / increases that will be needed to deliver those improvements.
“A programme appraisal for fleet replacement was developed which concluded that over the identified seven-year period, Translink would start the process of converting its fleet to zero-emission vehicles, which includes electric vehicles.
“As Translink does not currently have the infrastructure to fuel and charge zero-emission vehicles, the appraisal included a requirement to install charging units for EVs in Translink depots.
“The transition to zero-emission vehicles will address climate change and assist in the development of the Clean Air Strategy by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for Northern Ireland.
“It is aimed to transition the Translink bus fleet to zero emission vehicles by 2040. This in turn will reduce the impact of the Translink fleet on the environment through increasing the number of vehicles that comply with the latest European Commission emission standards.”
Within Craigavon, it has been identified that EV charging units will need to be provided at its existing depot at Highfield Road to facilitate the zero emissions EVs.
The statement says the new zero-emission EVs will help deliver benefits to passengers through higher specification vehicles – with audio visual, Wi-Fi, leather seats and added safety features.
And it adds: “There will also be air quality benefits across the entire network.
“The EVs that Translink are purchasing will have a battery on board that stores electricity from which the bus is powered. Battery charging requires adequate EV charging units and locations spread across the depots where the vehicles are stored.
“As part of this process, Translink is seeking to deliver 26 EV charging units and associated works at its Craigavon bus depot to facilitate the conversion of part of its fleet to zero-emission vehicles.”
The applications will now be advertised shortly.