First Wrightbus vehicles delivered under new ownership

Ballymena bus manufacturer Wrightbus has completed its first delivery of new buses since the company was acquired by the Bamford Bus Company last month.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 3:15 pm
(L-R) Buta Atwal, Chief Executive at Wrightbus; Jo Bamford, Executive Chairman at Wrightbus; Jon Harman, Head of Fleet at First Group UK Bus and John McLeister, Sales and Business Development Director at Wrightbus.

The first 36 units of a 55-bus order were delivered to Leeds in Yorkshire for use by First Group in the city.

The deal is worth around £13 million.

Wrightbus chief executive Buta Atwal described the successful delivery as “a clear signal of our intent to drive forward the Wrightbus business and grow the company”.

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Trade unions are hopeful that the company – which employed 1,300 people before it was placed into administration and then up for sale in September – will be able to re-employ many of the workers laid off as bus production is increased.

Last month, Mr Atwal said that a new government strategy to decarbonise bus emissions would favour the cutting-edge vehicles made with Wrightbus expertise.

“With the Government’s recent announcement of a new national bus strategy in 2020, in which decarbonisation will play a key role, we enter an exciting period during which Wrightbus has the opportunity to lead the way given our track record in manufacturing state of the art zero emission hydrogen buses as well as electric and hybrid models. We are looking to the future with much optimism,” he said.

A “full production line” is expected to be in operation early in the new year.

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley said he was pleased with the progress being made and that “more jobs and more orders” will follow.