Friday, 4 November 2011

Boris the Bus-Driver

BBC Northern Ireland reports that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is in County Antrim to unveil the prototype bus that will replace the traditional London Routemaster.

The contract to build the new bus for London Transport was awarded to the Ballymena company, Wrightbus, in January, 2010.

Twenty-five engineers and a production team of 40 are employed on the project. An initial order was placed for eight prototype buses, with the company hoping many more will follow.

A special feature of the bus is the reinstatement of the old-style hop on, hop-off platform:
"We've got this fantastic new bus which, amidst many other features, we've got the open platform back," Mr Johnson said.
"We're going to bring that back to the streets of London - it was wrongly taken away. This is a world-class piece of technology built here in Ballymena. It's the most amazing futuristic design, but it's also the cleanest, greenest bus that will ply the streets of London, indeed any city in the UK."
Mr Johnson launched the competition for a replacement for the old Routemaster three years ago. On Friday he came to Ballymena to drive the first prototype of its replacement off the production line.

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