Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Wright's Buses

I am delighted that Wright's of Ballymena has secured the contract for London buses for the next four years.

The BBC's Stephen Walker reports that, in a letter to the Hon Ian Paisley MLA, Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said he remains committed to "the roll-out of 600 production vehicles between now and 2016".

Mr Johnson said the deal marked "good news for manufacturing jobs in NI and for travellers in London".

There are currently eight prototype buses being used across the streets of London, built by firm Wrightbus. If the trials go well, staff at the County Antrim company hope a substantial order will be placed.

Discussions are ongoing between Wrightbus and Transport for London, the organisation which has responsibility for public transport in London.

Wrightbus was originally awarded the contract in January, 2010, to design a new bus for London. It was the first time in 50 years that a new bus has been designed for London commuters.

A team of engineers at the factory's plant at Galgorm outside Ballymena came up with a design for the double decker which has three entrances and a double staircase.

The design is similar to the classic Routemaster bus which was withdrawn in 2005.

Mr Johnson, who has long campaigned for a new bus for London, visited Wrightbus last November
and described the design as a piece of "world class technology".

He said: "I remain committed to the roll-outs of 600 production vehicles between now and 2016."

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