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July 10 2018
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Call for more investment as
Translink deliveries start

In a £6.7m investment state-owned Translink is taking delivery of 28 high-spec Wright ‘deckers for its Ulsterbus network.

They will launch a new Urby brand, on key commuter routes between outlying towns including park and ride routes and Belfast.

In addition to leather seats and free wi-fi, Uslterbus is following Blackpool’s lead with its ADL Enviro400 ‘deckers, by piloting a seat-back cradle for mobile devices on some of the buses.

Says Translink Group CEO Chris Conway: “We are grateful for this Department for Infrastructure (DfI) investment, demonstrating our commitment to transforming public transport.

With the new vehicles: (left) Mark Nodder, Wrights Group Chairman and CEO and Chris Conway, Translink Group CEO

“However, in order to maintain our high standards, we do need to establish a sustained programme of fleet replacement.”

Wrights Group Chairman and CEO Mark Nodder says: “At a time when the UK market for new buses has come under pressure, the support of Translink and the DfI is particularly welcome. This order helps our workforce in Ballymena and the wider supply chain in Northern Ireland and the UK.”

“We are proud to be delivering the first of a new fleet of double decker buses for Translink. The buses are state of the art in terms of specification, performance and emissions. They look fantastic in the new Urby livery, and are sure to turn heads when they enter service.

Added Mr Conway: “The introduction of these buses gives us the opportunity to launch a new service brand – Urby, inspired by the number of ‘smarter’ travellers living outside the city and looking for a better way to commute and connect with the city to get more ‘me time’ and enjoy a more active and healthier travel option compared to the car.

“These new vehicles will roll out on busy commuter routes over the coming months including Ballyclare, Newtownards, Lisburn, Carryduff and Finaghy including park and ride routes from Blacks Road, Sprucefield and Cairnshill, marking the start of our plans for Ulsterbus Urby routes.

“We carried record passenger numbers last year – topping 81 million and want to encourage even more people to join the ‘smartmover generation’. 

“However, in order to maintain our high standards, we do need to establish a sustained programme of fleet replacement to maintain the quality, comfort and accessibility of our fleet. 

“It is also important to keep up with the latest technology and environmental features - these new vehicles will be among the most fuel efficient and eco-friendly buses operating in Northern Ireland helping to improve local air quality.”

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