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London to get 600 Routemaster modelled buses

Written on:September 21, 2023
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600 new buses will be running on London streets by 2016

Northern Irish coach-building firm Wrightbus has bagged a multi-million pound order to build 600 new buses for London, making it the biggest order hybrid buses ever placed in Europe.

Transport for London (TfL) has approved the order after being impressed by Wrightbus’s prototype of Routemaster, the famous red double-decker bus. Wrightbus had won a contract in 2010 to build eight prototypes of Routemaster.

The news is being warmly received after last week’s announcement of hundreds of redundancies at generator manufacturer FG Wilson. Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said, “This is further great news for a local company, which only one month ago secured a new £41m contract to supply 550 double deck bus kits to SBS Transit for assembly in Singapore.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson had pledged to introduce a bus design based on the traditional Routemaster model. Johnson said, “By ordering large numbers of these fantastic machines, we are also creating UK jobs. I promised an expansion of the existing fleet and I am confident they will be as iconic in London as phone boxes, Big Ben and Beefeaters.”

North Antrim DUP MP Ian Paisley said that Ballymena-built buses are already running on Hong Kong, Las Vegas streets apart from the streets of the UK. Paisley added that the new order will boost job opportunities for the local economy.

The board of Transport for London announced that the buses would be made functional by 2016. “The order to produce large numbers of these bespoke vehicles will create jobs and help stimulate the UK economy”, TfL said.

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