Belfast Telegraph

Wrightbus: Ballymena builder lands deal for 200 new Routemaster buses for London

By John Mulgrew

Ballymena's Wrightbus has landed a deal to supply another 200 of its Routemaster buses to London.

The buses are to be delivered by June 2016.

In 2009, Wrightbus was commissioned by London Mayor Boris Johnson to build a cleaner and more efficient 21st century version of the Routemaster – London's iconic red double-decker bus.

The so-called 'Boris Bus' began service in 2012 and 600 of the hybrid buses have been already been ordered.

The firm said the new order would secure jobs at both its Ballymena and Antrim plants.

Wrightbus chair Mark Nodder said the order underpins its "programme of continuous innovation, and will benefit our local supply base in Northern Ireland".

"Once again we are delighted to have confirmation of a substantial order from London, which is a massive endorsement of the success of the New Routemaster and the company’s position as leading designers and manufacturers of eye-catching and environmentally responsible vehicles," he said.

Leon Daniels of Transport for London the buses "improve the journey experience of passengers, enhance air quality, reduce vehicle noise and cut emissions with associated health benefits".

"The buses will be built in Northern Ireland with many of the component parts also manufactured in the UK, creating jobs and stimulating the economy," he said.

In July, Wrightbus landed a £30 million deal to supply 415 buses to Singapore.

It comes after Wrightbus secured another major £41 million deal in the country two years ago.

The Co Antrim manufacturer is now the main supplier of double-deckers for SBS Transit - Singapore's public transport operator.

In 2012 the firm secured a three-year contract to supply 550 buses to Singapore.

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