Wright­bus sales in UK down by third in space of a year

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY JOHN MUL­GREW

THE num­ber of new Wright­bus ve­hi­cles sold across the UK has fallen by more than a third in the last year, ac­cord­ing to new in­dus­try fig­ures.

There were 503 new ve­hi­cles from the Bal­ly­mena bus-maker reg­is­tered in the UK dur­ing the course of 2016. That was down by 37% on the year be­fore, from 799.

That’s ac­cord­ing to new fig­ures from the So­ci­ety of Mo­tor Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Traders (SMMT).

Wright­bus is one of North­ern Ire­land’s largest man­u­fac­tur­ers and is the com­pany be­hind Lon­don’s red Routemas­ters — or so-called Boris buses, named af­ter for­mer Mayor of Lon­don Boris John­son.

It’s un­der­stood the SMMT fig­ures do not in­clude buses which Wright­bus has pro­duced for other bus man­u­fac­tur­ers.

Over­all, the num­ber of buses and coaches sold in North­ern Ire­land dropped by a third in 2016 across all mak­ers. Last year 112 were reg­is­tered, down from 168 in 2015.

The fig­ures also only in­clude sales in North­ern Ire­land and else­where in the UK, and not the Republic.

Last month it was re­vealed Wright­bus could be in line for a deal to sell hun­dreds of new buses to Lon­don in the next five years, af­ter the sale of its cur­rent Routemas­ters to the cap­i­tal comes to an end.

The com­pany is to com­plete a to­tal order for 1,000 of the Routemas­ter buses to Trans­port for Lon­don (TFL).

North Antrim DUP MP Ian Pais­ley said he ex­pects Wrights Group “to be well-placed to suc­cess­fully win a con­sid­er­able part of on­go­ing Lon­don bus con­tracts, as they come for­ward over the next three years”.

Lon­don Mayor Sadiq Khan had al­ready pledged to stop buy­ing pure diesel dou­ble deck­ers from 2018, in favour of us­ing more en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly ve­hi­cles.

The Routemas­ters were one of for­mer Lon­don Mayor Boris John­son’s high­est pro­file pur­chases dur­ing his time in of­fice.

Ear­lier this year it was re­vealed that Wright­bus is car­ry­ing out an up­date on its Routemas­ter buses af­ter a soft­ware glitch caused a prob­lem with its doors.

More than 400 Routemas­ters are to be brought back to garages in the city.

Over­all, the UK’S new bus and coach mar­ket saw a se­cond year of growth.

Sales in­creased by 8% dur­ing the course of 2016, with 8,779 new buses and coaches reg­is­tered.

And dur­ing the last quar­ter, more than 2,000 reg­is­tra­tions were made, which was up 4.6% on the same pe­riod a year ear­lier.

Ac­cord­ing to the SMMT, dou­ble-decker buses con­tin­ued to drive growth in 2016, with full year de­mand ris­ing by more than a quar­ter to 1,927 units.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: “2016 proved to be an­other strong year for the Bri­tish bus and coach mar­ket, with many op­er­a­tors in­vest­ing in their fleets over the past 12 months.”

Wright­bus could be in line to sell hun­dreds of new buses to Lon­don

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.