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3 minute read

Wrightbus secures order for 145 zero and low emission buses

The decarbonisation of public transport in Northern Ireland has taken a significant leap forward with a new contract for 145 zero and low emission buses.

Representing an investment of around £66m by the Department for Infrastructure, the buses and associated infrastructure will be supplied by Ballymena-based Wrightbus. This will form a key part of Translink’s net zero emissions strategy and will be fundamental in its journey to creating cleaner and greener transport. Translink operates the majority of bus services throughout Northern Ireland, including Metro, Glider and Ulsterbus services.

A total of 100 zero-emission buses will be deployed by Metro in Belfast and Foyle Metro services in Derry, comprising 80 battery electric vehicles and 20 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. There will also be 45 low emissions buses for Ulsterbus services across Northern Ireland. All buses are due to enter service throughout 2021/2022.

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Wrightbus has secured a new order for 145 buses, including 80 battery electric vehicles and 20 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles / Picture: Wrightbus


Wrightbus chief executive officer, Buta Atwal, said: “We are delighted that the Department for Infrastructure and Translink has shown strong leadership in its commitment to reducing emissions.

“Investment in hydrogen, electric and low-emission buses, and the wider energy sector, can only be good for jobs in Northern Ireland. We have the climate and the technology to drive fundamental change here and position Northern Ireland as a world-leader. This order of 145 buses is a significant step and we are proud to work alongside Translink to achieve these goals.”

Chris Conway, chief executive of Translink Group, said: “We have ambitious targets to operate a zero-emission public transport fleet across Northern Ireland by 2040 and this development is an important first step. They will also deliver the highest levels of passenger comfort, convenience and accessibility.

“As we progress this critical journey to net zero emissions transport, we will work with all stakeholders collaboratively to harness a shift in attitudes and behaviours towards more sustainable transport for future generations.”

All the zero and low emission buses for the contract will be manufactured at the Wrightbus factory in Ballymena / Picture: Wrightbus


Nichola Mallon, Northern Ireland infrastructure minister, added: “Cleaner, greener, sustainable transport is key to protecting our environment and fighting the climate crisis. I have an ambitious vision for a low carbon future where we make low emission public transport accessible to people and communities across Northern Ireland.

“Following my budget announcement in June, we are now seeing the investment of almost £66 million for the purchase of zero and low emission vehicles filter down to our local economy, with Wrightbus producing the 145 new vehicles that will enter the Translink fleet and be put into public service.

“Today marks a very positive step forward that will create jobs, encourage investment, as well as being pivotal in cutting the level of emissions.”

A previous order of three hydrogen-powered double decker buses confirmed earlier in the year are due to enter passenger service before the end of 2020. They will only emit water – no green house gases or other pollutants – and are the first of their kind in Ireland.

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