Northern Ireland

Wrightbus wins London bus contract

Wrightbus will supply the buses to the Transport for London by the second quarter of 2016
Image caption Wrightbus will supply the buses to the Transport for London by the second quarter of 2016

A County Antrim coachbuilder has won a contract to supply Transport for London (TfL) with 200 new Routemaster buses.

Wrightbus said the new order would secure employment in its Ballymena and Antrim plants.

The Ballymena-based coachbuilder was originally awarded a contract in 2010 to create a new hybrid bus for London.

Leon Daniels of TfL said the New Routemaster vehicles would enhance air quality and reduce vehicle noise.

He said the vehicles would also cut emissions with associated health benefits. The buses are to be delivered by June 2016.

Mark Nodder of Wrights Group, said: "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.

'Global'

"The order will secure jobs in Ballymena and Antrim, underpin our programme of continuous innovation, and will benefit our local supply base in Northern Ireland," he said.

Arlene Foster, MLA Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Forster said the TfL order put Northern Ireland manufacturing "firmly on the global stage".

"The firm is clearly reaping the benefits of its continued investment in new product development and cutting edge design, supported by Invest Northern Ireland.," Ms Foster said.

"Its continuing success in winning contracts reflects the company's focus on innovation and export marketing which has resulted in it becoming a significant player across a range of international markets."

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