Order! Order! It’s a bus-y time for Wrightbus
The Wrightbus order book continues to be busy. The Go-Ahead Group has signed a contract to buy its first hydrogen powered buses, as part of a deal which could become the largest of its kind in Europe.
Brighton & Hove and Metrobus has ordered 20 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from Ballymena based Wrightbus for deployment on the Fastway routes in the Crawley, Redhill and Gatwick Airport area. The single-decker GB Kite Hydroliner buses will be delivered in June 2022 and will be the first hydrogen powered vehicles in Go-Ahead’s fleet of more than 6,000 buses. The single-decker fuel cell buses are part funded with money from UK Government and European Union zero-emission bus schemes. Brighton & Hove and Metrobus is pursuing a second tranche of a further 34 buses to operate on other services in the Fastway bus rapid transit network and on the majority of services which are operated by Metrobus in Surrey. If completed, this has the potential to be Europe’s biggest local fleet of hydrogen buses to date.
David Brown, Chief Executive of The Go-Ahead Group, said: “This is a significant milestone for Go- Ahead as we work towards our goal of a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035. These buses will be clean, green and will provide a comfortable journey for passengers.
Jo Bamford, Executive Chairman of Wrightbus, said: “It’s fantastic to see Brighton & Hove and Metrobus taking this vital and progressive step to decarbonise public transport to help the UK hit its ambitious net zero targets.”
Meanwhile, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has unveiled the first of 80 electric double decker buses due to be in passenger service in spring 2022. The electric buses were purchased by Translink under an existing framework contract from Wrightbus. They will run on fully sustainable electricity.
Wrightbus MD, Neil Collins, said: “We’re delighted that Translink will be the first operator to put our Wrightbus Electroliner into passenger service. It seems incredibly fitting that passengers in Northern Ireland will be the first to benefit from the revolutionary bus that was developed and built in Northern Ireland.