Tyne Tunnels operator, TT2, has announced a raft of new green measures to make the river crossing more sustainable, improve air quality and reduce emissions.
TT2 has added its first electric vehicle (EV) to its fleet – in a trial that, if successful, will see the full diesel-powered fleet replaced with EVs – reducing yearly carbon emissions by 60 tonnes.
The Vauxhall Vivaro-E Elite EV (pictured) will be used for escorting tankers and abnormal loads, general operations and security.
Customer Operations Manager, Shaun Simmons said: “This is an exciting first step towards a fully electric fleet, we hope to replace all our diesel vehicles with EVs.
“The operations team travel around 60,000 miles a year carrying out escorts and general operational movements, so the switch to electric will support our ambitions to reduce emissions in the local area.”
On site composting for over 150 employees and three behives have also been introduced in the TT2 team garden.
This follows the switch to open road tolling last year which saw C02 emissions slashed by a staggering 90% which is equivalent to eliminating the carbon created by 31,200 return passenger flights to New York, every year.
CO2 emmissions are set to further fall when the current roadworks to remove the defunct payment plazas are complete.
Chief Executive at TT2, Philip Smith said: “We are excited to see our first EV on site and it’s encouraging to see how enthusiastically our team are getting behind composting waste and our bees, which are boosting insect numbers and flowers.
“Reducing emissions has a positive effect on air quality for those who live and work near the tunnels and we are determined to do everything we can to increase sustainability.”
TT2 was certified as carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust in 2020 by ensuring that its emissions from owned or controlled sources are net-zero. This was achieved through a range of measures including installing LED lighting in the tunnels and ensuring all of its electricity is generated from certifiable renewable sources.