Mallon views new ‘green fleet’ of buses

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has visited Wrightbus to see the impressive new Zero Emission Buses that are due to start to enter the Translink fleet and be put into public service over the coming months.

The Minister toured the Ballymena factory and met the team that are delivering a total of 183 new zero and low emission buses, which represents a total investment in excess of £104m with Wrightbus over the last three years. These orders include 138 Zero Emission Buses which will soon be on our roads.

Minister Mallon said: “I am committed to delivering cleaner, greener, sustainable infrastructure.

“My efforts are focused on making public transport carbon net zero as quickly as possible by delivering a step change on this journey to a greener future. In line with this commitment I previously allocated funding of almost £74million for the purchase of 145 zero and low emission buses for the Translink fleet. The first of these are due to go into passenger service in the next few weeks which will be another exciting milestone on this journey to net zero. When all the buses arrive and are in service Translink will have the fourth largest fleet across these islands of zero emission buses. In November I was also delighted to announce additional funding of £30million for the purchase of 38 new zero emission battery electric buses for the Foyle Metro fleet. Wrightbus are delivering both these significant projects for us so I am delighted to be here today to see at first hand the expertise and technology they use and to meet with the staff.

Infrastructure Minister visits Wrightbus to view progress on journey to Net Zero Public Transport. Pictured are Ian Gillot (Group Director Parts and Service Wrightbus); Kirsty McBride (Wrightbus Finance Director), Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon, Nicola McCloskey (Wrightbus HR Director) and Neil Collins (Wrightbus Managing Director)

Neil Collins, Wrightbus MD, said: “We were delighted to welcome Ms Mallon here and talk to her about our vision for the company and how that vision not only supports jobs in Northern Ireland and the wider Northern Ireland economy, but is also leading the way in reducing the impact of climate change. This year we will be doubling production compared to 2021, with buses going into service across the UK and the island of Ireland.”

SDLP Ballymena councillor Eugene Reid has welcomed progress on the new zero emission buses from Wrightbus. He visited the company with SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon on Tuesday to see first-hand the work that is ongoing.

Councillor Reid said: “I was delighted to visit Wrightbus this week with SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon and see first-hand the good work being done on these zero emission buses. The significant investment by Minister Mallon in this local company has helped to secure its future and jobs for local people and supported the ongoing rejuvenation of Wrightbus under its new ownership.”