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Eco-friendly buses on their way to Darlington
BUS passengers in Darlington can look forward to cleaner, quieter and more fuel efficient transport in the New Year.
Arriva has spent £30m on a fleet of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses which can run on gas from the national grid or on “green” bio-gas produced from sewage, farming waste or landfill.
Eleven of the 39-seater EcoCity CNG buses will be introduced in Darlington next year and will be fully operational by March 2013, serving Arriva routes two, 11 and 12.
CNG engines are more environmentally friendly than traditional diesel engines and although the eco buses can cost up to 50 per cent more than a regular bus, their benefits include lower running costs, less pollution and a quieter ride for passengers.
Arriva are rolling out the gas-powered buses across the country, but so far Darlington is the only North-East town set to receive them in 2013.
John Greaves, engineering director for Arriva North East, said: “Darlington was chosen because we were very conscious the town has gone through a lot of change in terms of investment and adjustment.
“Quite a number of depots closed, like Bishop Auckland and Peterlee, and we have got to confess the service did deteriorate a little bit, we got a bit of criticism and this is all about building customer confidence again.”
Work on building a £1m gas filling station at Arriva’s depot on Faverdale is expected to begin next month in time for the new buses’ arrival.
Arriva’s bid to bring the EcoCity buses to the town was supported by Darlington Borough Council and today (October 17) a group of councillors enjoyed a trip to the company’s depot onboard one of the prototype buses.