Tyne Tunnels operator, TT2, is switching its diesel fleet to electric vehicles (EV) to make the river crossing more sustainable, improve air quality and reduce emissions.
Following a successful trial of their first EV, the firm has replaced its diesel-powered vehicles with Vauxhall Vivaro-E Elite vans – which will reduce its yearly carbon emissions by approximately 20 tonnes.
The EVs will be operational vehicles, which are used for escorting tankers and abnormal loads, general operations and security on the Tyne Tunnels site.
To celebrate the launch of its all-new EV fleet, local school children are being offered the chance to name the TT2 EV vehicles.
This follows the tunnels’ switch to open-road-tolling which has seen C02 emissions slashed by a staggering 90 percent, which is equivalent to eliminating the carbon created by over 31,200 return passenger flights from Newcastle to New York, every year.
Chief Operating Officer, Shaun Simmons said: “The operations team travel around 60,000 miles a year carrying out escorts and general operational movements, so the switch to electric will make a significant impact on our mission to reduce emissions in the local area.”
TT2 was certified as carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust by ensuring its emissions from owned or controlled sources are offset and has introduced a raft of sustainability initiatives. These include on-site composting for its 150 employees; three beehives in the TT2 team garden; as well as beginning a project with local charities to restore 45,000 square metres of forest that sits directly above the Northbound tunnel, in Wallsend.
Shaun Simmons added: “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 possibly can to increase sustainability.”
TT2 has installed LED lighting in the tunnels and all of its electricity is generated from certifiable renewable sources.