Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has hosted a British-Irish Council Transport work sector meeting in Crumlin Road Gaol, in Belfast.
Ministers from Jersey, Guernsey, Ireland, Scotland and the British Government joined the Minister for the meeting in person, while Ministers from Wales and the Isle of Man joined the meeting virtually. The Minister was accompanied at the meeting by her Executive colleague, Junior Minister Gary Middleton. Minister Mallon’s Department chairs the British-Irish Council Transport work sector group on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister Mallon said:
“It was a pleasure to host and welcome Ministers from the British-Irish Council Transport work sector to Belfast. These meetings are an opportunity to discuss matters of mutual interest and to learn from each other about transport issues. With the COP26 Conference happening soon, this was a time for all of us to come together and consider what we need to be doing urgently to address the climate crisis.
"Ahead of the meeting, our visitors were able to see at first-hand what we are doing here in the north to decarbonise transport. Translink facilitated a visit to demonstrate their work within public transport showcasing the Hydrogen bus and plans for new Zero Emission Battery Electric Bus. NI Water also demonstrated how the work they are involved in can reduce costs incurred in the wastewater treatment process, provide electricity to fuel its fleets and to support other essential service providers who are transitioning to low and zero emission vehicles.
"I am passionate about the benefits and opportunities that public transport provides. I want people to get out of their cars and onto cleaner/greener modes of transport including active travel. The climate crisis is real and we must urgently collaborate and engage across these islands to implement the necessary change to address the significant challenges ahead.”
Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive, said: “We very much welcomed the opportunity to host the visit to showcase the ground-breaking work we are doing to decarbonise Northern Ireland’s public transport. Climate change is the most pressing environmental challenge of our time and transport will be a key enabler in helping tackle the current crisis and drive the race to net zero emissions both regionally and globally.
“During the visit we showcased our new hydrogen powered buses and the pioneering work on green renewable energy solutions. We also set out our plans to introduce a further 100 battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles into passenger service next year. This will see Translink with the 4th largest zero emission bus fleet in the UK and Ireland, moving Northern Ireland towards a cleaner, healthier and smarter future for everyone."
Notes to editors:
- Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon is pictured with Junior Minister Gary Middleton and Ministers from Ireland, UK, Guernsey, Jersey and Scotland at today’s British-Irish Council Transport work sector meeting in Belfast.
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