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New hybrid London Bus

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The Lord Mayor of London Boris Johnson unveiled the new London bus this week at the Wrightbus factory in Ballymena Northern Ireland.

The first hybrid bus will arrive in London in December to put it to the test against the busy streets with seven other joining it in early 2012, it is hoped the prototypes will lead to a full production line.

Boris Johnson revealed it is a hybrid technology vehicle and is much more fuel efficient and better for the environment compared to conventional buses used today.   

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This fantastic machine is full with the latest technology and London buses will be world leaders once again when the first eight buses take to our roads early next year.

“They are just an advance party for what I envisage will eventually be a legion of their type. Our new bus is an improvement on standard double decks in every respect and has been designed with this city and its wonderful population in mind.

“It showcases the very best of British manufacturing and design and simply oozes with quality.”

The bus was designed by The Co Antrim Firm who won the contract last January to design a new bus for the capital, it has taken two years to develop and produce the prototype.

The exterior of the bus will feature three entrances and a double staircase to make it easier for passengers, along with the iconic open platform at the rear of the bus.

The interior will have two staircases for quick and easy access to and from the upper deck, grooved flooring on the stairs and entrance, a new innovative deign of a lightweight bench seat with specially designed moquette and new wireless bells that blend into the hand pole.

The design could mean a big boost for Northern Irelands Manufacturing industry, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson MP, said: “This is a bus which means business for Northern Ireland.

“Built in collaboration with companies across the UK, it is already a huge success and represents a fantastic long term export opportunity.

“London buses are iconic the world over and one in every four of them is built in Northern Ireland. 

“I am delighted that the streets of London will be showcasing some of Northern Ireland’s finest manufacturing for years to come.”

The bus will be tested over the months, to see if it suits the needs of passengers and will be able to cope with the amount of passengers it will have during the 2012 Games.

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By Amanda Bainbridge