£19m contract award for Belfast Rapid Transit

Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen with Jan Van Hool, left, of Belgian firm Van Hool  and John Marks from Road Trucks Ltd in Larne
Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen with Jan Van Hool, left, of Belgian firm Van Hool and John Marks from Road Trucks Ltd in Larne

A £19 million contract to supply a fleet of 30 vehicles for the new Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) system has been awarded to the Belgian-based company Van Hool with support from Larne firm Road Trucks Limited.

The new vehicles, known as Exqui.City, will be built over the next two and a half years, and are scheduled to come into service on the new BRT network in September 2018, marking “a new era for public transport in Northern Ireland,” said Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen .

“Today we see a very significant step forward in the Belfast Rapid Transit project which, as part of the Executive’s Programme for Government, is set to transform public transport in Belfast,” she said.

“I congratulate Van Hool on their successful bid in the open European procurement competition which attracted interest from manufacturers across Europe.

“I also want to congratulate Road Trucks Ltd who will play a key role in this significant contract.”

Design & Development director Jan Van Hool, said there was a rapidly growing demand for buses such as the Exqui.City.

“We are very pleased to have secured this important contract for the supply of the rapid transit vehicles for Belfast.

“The contract is very significant for both Van Hool and our local long-term partner, Road Trucks Ltd.”

Road Trucks MD John Marks, said: “This new project complements our existing business, leveraging the knowledge built up over more than 30 years, with the quality of our staff playing a key part in being able to expand in this way.”