Wrightbus have received boost after the UK Government confirmed a £3million investment in 18 new zero emission buses for Leicester.
The new buses will be produced at the firms Ballymena plant and follows another Government order of 117 buses for various English regions earlier in March.
The latest investment means all diesel buses at the operator First Bus’s depot in Leicester will now be replaced with 86 electric buses funded by the Zero Emission Buses Regional Areas (ZEBRA).
Ian Gillott, Managing Director (Parts and Services) at Wrightbus, said: "Our partnership with First Bus is hugely significant in the drive to zero-emission public transport.
"It has been a real team effort between the local authority, Wrightbus and First Bus to deliver this exciting project.
“We can’t wait to see these buses in operation in Leicester, which will help passengers enjoy comfortable and cleaner transport.
“We are consistently at the forefront of zero and low-emission travel and would be delighted to progress future orders, dependent on future co-funding opportunities.
“Our electric buses - the GB Kite Electroliner BEV and the StreetDeck Electroliner BEV, which is the world's most efficient double deck battery-electric bus - are manufactured and assembled at our Ballymena factory, which means support for jobs in NI, and wider across the UK through our domestic supply chain.”
The Department of Transport says buses remain an important part of the UK's infrastructure.
“Buses are the backbone of our transport network, providing affordable travel for commuters, families, and pensioners, and providing an economic lifeline for towns and cities around the country,” said Roads Minister Richard Holden.
“This multimillion investment for Leicester’s clean transformation, coupled with the new Bus Centre of Excellence, will help drive the country’s bus sector recovery and provide passengers with cleaner, more affordable buses that run on time.”
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