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Waterloo bus garage wins international green energy award

  • London’s largest bus operator comes out on top against projects from Chile and Sweden
  • Landmark site in Lambeth was the UK’s first all-electric bus garage
  • The introduction of Go-Ahead London’s electric buses has prevented the emission of 2,500 tonnes of CO2

14 November – A £20m project to create the UK’s first all-electric bus garage has won international acclaim after Go-Ahead London was awarded one of the world’s most prestigious environmental accolades.

Judges at the Energy Globe world awards handed Go-Ahead London the prize for sustainable energy for the conversion of the Waterloo Bus Garage.

The landmark redevelopment, which completed in 2016, transformed the one-acre site from a diesel to fully electric operation and helped the company become Europe’s leading operator of electric buses.

Waterloo Bus Garage has served the capital since 1951 when it provided a base for buses operating to and from the nearby Festival of Britain.

Now, a total of 43 recharging points power 46 buses, which are charged overnight using ‘smart’ units which calculate how much power is required based on the following day’s mileage requirement.

The roll-out has dramatically cut Go-Ahead London’s carbon footprint - an estimated 2,500 tonnes of CO2 have not been emitted thanks to the introduction of the electric fleet.

In addition, all energy used to charge the buses is also purchased from sustainable sources, and since the project completed, Go-Ahead London has also moved to partially convert two more sites in the capital.

Go-Ahead London managing director John Trayner said: “Waterloo has blazed a trail across the world and in doing so the electric buses that operate from it have improved the air we all breathe."

“This prestigious accolade is a welcome recognition for our colleagues, suppliers, Transport for London and the Mayor for their commitment to environmentally friendly transport.

“The good news is that Go-Ahead London continues to deliver even more projects like the Waterloo scheme now and in the future."

Created in 1999, the Energy Globe awards celebrate innovations in sustainability from around the world. Previous award presenters have included Mikhail Gorbachev and Kofi Annan.

Chosen from more than 2,000 entries, Go-Ahead London was one of three finalists for the award, which also included a solar energy plant in Chile and a project to encourage data centres to relocate to Sweden and support heat recovery for thermal energy.

The award also reflects The Go-Ahead Group’s role as the UK’s largest operator of electric buses and a provider of environmentally friendly innovations across the country.

The business is committed to operating a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2035 and runs 200 electric buses across the UK. In Southampton, Go-Ahead operates a pioneering air-filtering bus, which cleans the air of PM10 particulate matter as it runs.

Last month in Brighton, the operator also rolled out the UK’s first ‘geo-fenced’ bus services, which automatically switch to zero-emissions mode when driving through the centre of the city.