In a statement to the Northern Ireland Assembly, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announced a £30m investment in low-emission buses as part of a package of measures to kick start the nation’s economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The decisions I have taken are to ensure DfI plays its part in responding to this crisis and enabling our safe and speedy recovery from it to a new way of living and working. This of course requires our communities to have a public transport system and a 21st century water and waste water network to serve the growing population and allow for economic growth,” she said.
“As we look towards this recovery phase our infrastructure is key and I have carefully considered how to balance maintaining and investing in existing infrastructure assets with investing in new projects and infrastructure that support the new way we are living. We have to think differently. We have to be bold. We have to seize our chance for change.
“Funding will be made available for greenways, low emission buses, park and ride sites and road safety measures, including funding to roll out the 20mph speed limit scheme to some 100 schools across the north.
“Working together we must be ambitious. I know there is an appetite for change and I look forward to the continued support of all of my Assembly colleagues in delivering these very important projects that will enhance all of our lives as we focus on planning for recovery and a new and better shared future.”
Wrightbus Chief Executive, Buta Atwal, reacted to the news: “Wrightbus is leading the way with its hydrogen and battery buses and we are delighted that Minister Mallon has pledged her commitment to a greener, cleaner recovery.
“In order to create jobs, encourage investment and cut emissions we have to take action now. This is a positive step forward for Northern Ireland and shows Wrightbus stands ready to play a pivotal role in our shared economic recovery and net-zero future.”