Green York City Sightseeing bus makes debut

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An electric York City Sightseeing open-top bus has finally entered service after having been converted from its original diesel engine to use new electric technology, the York Press has reported.

The retrofitted 15-year old Dennis Trident was the first electric retrofitted double-decker bus in the world. The Department for Transport’s clean bus fund backed the conversion with a £75,000 grant after City of York Council’s low emissions officer Derek McCreadie persuaded civil servants that the project could be a new technology which could benefit the whole of the UK. The council has now won another £475,000 from the DfT to convert five more City Sightseeing buses.

The technology has seen the removal of a 2.1 tonne diesel engine, nowreplaced with lithium ion batteries powerful enough to keep the tour bus running all day.

York City Council Transport Chief Tony Clarke said: “We are really excited about this as we have been trying to reduce pollution from the city centre for a long period of time. We are converting the tour buses, which run round the city centre where we have the worst air quality problems.”

Transdev Managing Director Alex Hornby said: “We think this positions the City Sightseeing business in a different light.

“The project is great news for our customers, the local environment and all those who reside in, and visit, the great city of York. As well as offering zero emissions, the bus offers a beautifully smooth ride and is refreshingly quiet, ideal for our guided tour operations in the city.”

The bus, which was converted by Magtec, also is expected to save the company £20,000 a year in operating costs.