Posted on Wednesday 16 November 2011 by Ulster Business
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has driven the first new bus for London off the production line at the Wrightbus factory in Ballymena.
The New Bus for London is the first bus designed specifically for the streets of London in more than 50 years and has been built by specialist engineers at Wrightbus. In just under two years the bus has gone from the drawing board to a fully functioning prototype.
The new bus incorporates the most innovative and cutting edge hybrid technology and will be the most environmentally friendly bus of its kind when it enters passenger service.
In December the prototype driven by the Mayor will make its way across the Irish Sea to London, where it will be put through its paces on the Capital’s streets in preparation for entering passenger service next year. In the course of the first half of 2012 it will be joined by seven more prototypes to be tested in passenger service, which will lead to the establishment of a full production line. A team of 25 engineers and a 40 strong production team at the Wrightbus factory in Ballymena have worked on the first prototypes. But in a difficult economic climate the Mayor is confident investment will be made in hundreds more buses that will support many more jobs.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This fantastic machine is chock full with the latest technology and London buses will be world leaders once again when the first eight buses take to our roads early next year. They are just an advance party for what I envisage will eventually be a legion of their type. Our new bus is an improvement on standard double decks in every respect and has been designed with this city and its wonderful population in mind. It showcases the very best of British manufacturing and design and simply oozes with quality.”