31/03/2014

£14m To Be Secured For 79 New Buses

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy and Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster have announced that they have secured an EU investment of £5.2m towards the more than £14m investment to help meet the cost of 79 new buses.

The successful bid for EU funding is the result of inter-departmental working between the Department for Regional Development (DRD) and the Department for Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI). The funding boost has been secured through the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland which is administered by DETI.

The investment will go towards the purchase of 42 Metro double deck buses, 10 Metro single deck buses and 27 midi buses (2 Metro and 25 Ulsterbus). Some of the new Metro vehicles will arrive in the Summer with the remainder arriving in the Autumn.

Minister Kennedy said: "The new buses will make public transport an even more attractive option. Investment in new buses helps to maintain fleet age and accessibility targets and maintain service standards for customers.

"The new buses will replace older vehicles and comply with modern European emission standards helping Translink further reduce the environmental impact of the fleet. Securing EU support to part fund this investment will benefit passengers for many years to come.

"Volvo is supplying 42 Wrightbus double deck buses for Metro. Optare will provide the ten single deck Metro buses and 27 midi buses.

"Translink will fund £4million for a further 20 single deck buses bringing the total number of new buses to 99 with a total investment of £18million. The procurement for these is due to start in the coming months with delivery expected 2015."

(CD/JP)

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