18/05/2010

London Transport Gets Wrighbus Boost

The open passenger platform that was so much a part of London buses it to make a return - thanks to a Co Antrim-based company.

The final design of the 'New Bus' for London, based on the much-loved Routemaster, was unveiled this week by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

The buses will be prepared by Ballymena manufacturer Wrightbus - which is already behind many of the newest double deckers on certain London routes.

The bus will use the latest green technology. It will be 15% more fuel efficient than existing hybrid buses, and 40% more efficient than conventional diesel double decks and much quieter on the streets.

The pioneering design makes use of lightweight materials, with glass highlighting key features and producing a light and airy feel inside the bus.

An impressive glass 'swoop' at the rear and offside pick out the two staircases and are said to provide a dramatic visual effect and an asymmetric design for the front-end completes the futuristic look.
News Image
The open platform is a defining feature, shared with the Routemaster of old, and allows the reinstatement of a hop-on, hop-off service.

Three doors and two staircases will aid speedier and smoother boarding.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "This iconic new part of our transport system is not only beautiful, but also has a green heart beating beneath its stylish, swooshing exterior.

"It will cut emissions, and give Londoners a bus they can be proud of, complete with cutting edge design, and the freedom of an open platform," he said.

"I expect to eventually have hundreds of these on London's roads, and for cities around the globe to be beside themselves with envy for our stunning red emblem of 21st century London."

Mark Nodder, Group Managing Director of Wrightbus, commented: "This project is not just about evolution, it's about revolution.

"I think the design is genuinely groundbreaking, people are really going to stop and notice these buses on the streets of London."

Wrightbus engineers are now working on a static mock up of the bus to be complete later this year with the first prototype to be delivered late next year, the new buses will enter service from early 2012.

(BMcC/GK)

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