Making the Shields Ferry carbon-free - Nexus teams up with Newcastle University to make Tyne ferry service cleaner and greener

Efforts are underway to make one of South Shields best-loved modes of transport cleaner and greener for the future.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 11:12 am
Efforts are underway to make the ferry service cleaner and greener.

Transport executive Nexus has announced it is working with experts at Newcastle University on a project to reduce the carbon emissions of the Shields Ferry.

The project, called CLEANFERRY, has received financial backing from the Department of Transport (DfT) – part of more than £23million allocated to 55 initiatives to reduce emissions from the maritime sector across the UK.

The Shields Ferry is dependent on fossil fuels to run, and the project will see academics working with Nexus and specialist engineering company Royston to help transition the ferry to run carbon-free.

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Efforts are underway to make the ferry service cleaner and greener.

Helen Mathews, head of corporate planning at Nexus, said: “We are really excited to be working on this project with the University and Royston.

"The Shields Ferry is an important link in our public transport offer, and it supports tourism and leisure around the mouth of the Tyne and beyond.

“A key element of our vision for Nexus over the next five years is to improve our environmental performance and reduce our carbon footprint across the business.”

She added: "The CLEANFERRY project fits in perfectly with that and will help us to identify the right mix of technology and operational processes to minimise the carbon footprint of the service.”

Academics will develop a detailed ‘technology route map’ for the Shields Ferry service based on data intelligence, innovative solutions and energy-efficient strategies for the transition to a carbon-free operation.

The project team will work to gain a detailed understanding of ferry energy flows, including an accurate measure of the ferry’s existing carbon footprint.

This will be followed by a review of technology options for retrofitting or upgrading the ferries.Dr Roberto Palacin, reader in transport futures and director of mechanical engineering and marine technology at the School of Engineering at Newcastle University, said: “CLEANFERRY is the first step of a fantastic journey to decarbonise the Shields Ferry and work with partners to offer carbon neutral mobility solutions.

"I’m very excited about the potential impact on people and place resulting from this research.”

The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition was launched in March 2021 as part of the Prime Minister’s ten-point plan.

The competition has allocated over £23million match-funding to UK innovators.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps MP said: “As a proud island nation built on our maritime prowess, it is only right that we lead by example when it comes to decarbonising the sector and building back greener.

"The projects announced showcase the best of British innovation, revolutionising existing technology and infrastructure to slash emissions, create jobs and get us another step closer to our decarbonisation targets.”

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