Transport Secretary visits leading manufacturers in Northern Ireland

Department for Transport

November 2
15:41 2017

Scores of low emission buses will be dispatched around the UK thanks to a multi-million pound grant awarded to a Northern Irish manufacturer, supporting local jobs.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has today (2 November 2017) visited a leading manufacturer in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, where engineers are producing low emission buses for councils and bus operators across the UK.

Picture of Chris Grayling looking at a low emission bus engine.

Many of these vehicles are being built as a result of the government providing more than 40 million in 2016 and 2017 under the Low Emission Bus Scheme (LEBS) to help buy over 450 low emission buses. This is part of making the UK a global leader in their development, manufacture and use.

Wrightbus Ltd, based in Ballymena, is a leading bus manufacturer with a large range of low emission models. Around 70 of their low emission buses are being produced with funding from LEBS, as part of the governments wider commitment to investing more than 1 billion in ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

I am determined to push forward with a green revolution in transport, and low emission buses are an important part of our plans.

We have already provided funding for over 450 low emission buses through the Low Emission Bus Scheme, with hundreds more to be funded by the next round of the scheme which we will be launching in the coming months.

New greener buses will be more comfortable for passengers, they are cost-efficient and are good for the environment. It has been fascinating to witness first-hand how these vehicles are made.

While at Wrightbus Ltd, the Transport Secretary took a tour of the site and saw a new fleet of low emission buses being manufactured.

The company is in the forefront of these new technologies, including developing innovative hydrogen and electric battery technology to produce buses that emit zero emissions.

Speaking at the time of the visit Wrights Group Chairman and CEO Mark Nodder said:

It was a great privilege to show the Secretary of State for Transport the latest zero-emission bus technology produced by Wrightbus. This is a glimpse of the future where buses will have a pivotal role to play in reducing harmful emissions and improving air quality.

While in Northern Ireland, the Transport Secretary also attended meetings at Belfast International Airport and Thales UK another company exporting cutting edge products around the globe.

Together Wrightbus Limited and Thales UK employ around 2 thousand people in Northern Ireland.

Belfast offers direct flights across the UK, Europe and America, and has seen air passenger trips increase by 10% to 8 million. Crucially, through its links to larger UK airports, and especially Heathrow Airport, passengers and businesses in Northern Ireland can reach the fast-growing economies of Asia, South America, and Africa.

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