Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Watch Boris Johnson do pull-ups on Routemaster bus chassis as he confirms Ballymena Wrightbus deal

London mayor Boris Johnson has confirmed a fresh deal to buy almost 200 new Routemaster buses

By John Mulgrew

Published 29/02/2016

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is pictured at Wrightbus Antrim plant at the announcement of a further 200 Route Master Buses to the Transport of London order worth £62 Million.
The £62 Million order was confirmed during a visit to the chassis plant in Antrim.
Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson is pictured at Wrightbus Antrim plant at the announcement of a further 200 Route Master Buses to the Transport of London order worth £62 Million. The £62 Million order was confirmed during a visit to the chassis plant in Antrim. Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson is pictured at Wrightbus Antrim plant at the announcement of a further 200 Route Master Buses to the Transport of London order worth £62 Million. The £62 Million order was confirmed during a visit to the chassis plant in Antrim. Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson is pictured at Wrightbus Antrim plant at the announcement of a further 200 Route Master Buses to the Transport of London order worth £62 Million. The £62 Million order was confirmed during a visit to the chassis plant in Antrim. Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography.
An additional order for 195 Routemasters for London worth £62m has been confirmed at County Antrim firm Wrightbus. London Mayor Boris Johnson confirmed the deal on a visit to the company. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Mayor of London Boris Johnson is pictured at Wrightbus Antrim plant at the announcement of a further 200 Route Master Buses to the Transport of London order worth £62 Million. The £62 Million order was confirmed during a visit to the chassis plant in Antrim.Also pictured are deputy First Minister Martin McGuinnes, Mark Nodder OBE, Chairman and CEO Wrightbus, First Minister Arlene Foster and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers. Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography. Monday 29th February 2016
Mayor of London Boris Johnson is pictured at Wrightbus Antrim plant at the announcement of a further 200 Route Master Buses to the Transport of London order worth £62 Million. The £62 Million order was confirmed during a visit to the chassis plant in Antrim. Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson is pictured at Wrightbus Antrim plant at the announcement of a further 200 Route Master Buses to the Transport of London order worth £62 Million. The £62 Million order was confirmed during a visit to the chassis plant in Antrim. Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson is pictured at Wrightbus Antrim plant at the announcement of a further 200 Route Master Buses to the Transport of London order worth £62 Million. The £62 Million order was confirmed during a visit to the chassis plant in Antrim.Also pictured are deputy First Minister Martin McGuinnes, Mark Nodder OBE, Chairman and CEO Wrightbus, First Minister Arlene Foster and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers. Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography.
An additional order for 195 Routemasters for London worth £62m has been confirmed at County Antrim firm Wrightbus. London Mayor Boris Johnson confirmed the deal on a visit to the company on Monday. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
An additional order for 195 Routemasters for London worth £62m has been confirmed at County Antrim firm Wrightbus. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
First Minister, Arlene Foster and the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness pictured with London Mayor, Boris Johnson, Mark Nodder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Wright Group Ltd and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers in Antrim at the official confirmation of a £62million deal between Transport for London for nearly 200 New Routemaster buses Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

London mayor Boris Johnson has confirmed a fresh deal to buy almost 200 new Routemaster buses from Ballymena's Wrightbus.

The deal is thought to be worth around £60m and will help secure the workforce of the bus maker.

Mr Johnson visited a plant owned by the firm in Antrim as part of a tour of firms in Northern Ireland on Monday.

During his visit he tested the strength of the chassis of the bus by doing pull-ups on it.

>> Boris Johnson tries to swing case for Brexit on visit to N Ireland bus firm << 

A deal to buy the buses was revealed earlier this month, with Transport for London (TfL) confirming that its board had approved the financing of the order for the buses, a familiar sight on roads around Ballymena during the test-drive process.

Wrightbus employs around 1,500 people in Ballymena - and the confirmation of available finance will secure the jobs of those deployed on the Routemaster production lines. Around 800 have been driven onto London's streets so far.

First Minister Arlene Foster said: “Wrightbus is a shining example of a successful indigenous Northern Ireland business.

"Innovation is a key element of economic success and Wrightbus has once again demonstrated their manufacturing credentials.

"This latest contract not only results in almost 200 Routemaster buses servicing London but it is a timely boost for the Northern Ireland manufacturing sector.”

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “Wrightbus is a flourishing business and this latest contract puts them in the manufacturing fast lane.

"The success in winning contracts reflects the sharp Wrightbus focus on innovation and marketing which has resulted in it becoming a major player on the global market.

"This follow up order is testament to the quality of the hard work and skill of their workforce and the benefits to our economy will extend beyond the gates of Wrightbus."

Introducing the so-called 'Boris bus' onto London's streets has been a signature policy of London's flamboyant Mayor, Boris Johnson, whose tenure will come to an end in May.

Boris Johnson has said he will campaign for the UK to leave the EU as battle lines were drawn between Northern Ireland's politicians on what David Cameron has called one of the biggest decisions of our time.

Mr Johnson said he could not turn down this "once in a lifetime" chance to quit the EU.

He claimed Mr Cameron's renegotiation had failed to deliver fundamental change in Britain's relationship with Brussels.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph