Huge order boost for Wrightbus

Wrightbus Micro Hybrid Streetlite buses, which entered service last year.  First has ordered a further 183 of these vehicles, which now feature Euro 6 engines. (Submitted Picture).
Wrightbus Micro Hybrid Streetlite buses, which entered service last year. First has ordered a further 183 of these vehicles, which now feature Euro 6 engines. (Submitted Picture).

The leading transport operator in the UK and North America has ordered 385 new vehicles worth £77.7m for delivery in the current financial year - and Ballymena’s Wrightbus is to get a major share of the work!

First Bus’ order underlines its commitment to provide high quality bus services for its customers and stakeholder partners and reflects increasing passenger and revenue growth across its operations. It brings the company’s investment to nearly £385m over five years, enabling the replacement of some 2,200 vehicles, around a third of its fleet.

The order is a big boost to British manufacturing supporting hundreds of UK jobs.

Ballymena based Wrightbus will manufacture 248 vehicles. Falkirk’s ADL has secured an order for 117 vehicles, while Volvo has won a contract to build 20 double decker chassis in Sweden, with the bodies manufactured by Wrightbus.

Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First Bus, said: “This is great news for First Bus customers across the UK. In five years we’ve invested around £385m in new vehicles. Our £77.7m investment this year underlines our continuing determination to provide ever better bus services for our customers and reflects the increasing passenger numbers that we are seeing across First Bus.

“I’m delighted the overwhelming majority of our new vehicles will be fitted with Euro 6 engines. The advances in engineering are remarkable and our investment represents one of the most environmentally friendly bus orders ever placed. I’m proud that our Euro 6 order is the largest on record in the UK so far and will support efforts from our local authority partners to improve air quality in towns and cities across the UK.”

Wrights Group Chairman and CEO, Mark Nodder, said: “We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with FirstGroup, and look forward to delivering more vehicles which are best in class for fuel efficiency and low emissions. This is the largest order taken by Wrightbus for Euro 6 buses, a strong endorsement of the new technology and innovative design.”