Wright midi boosts jobs
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• An Alusuisse-bodied midibus based on the Dennis Dart chassis is being launched by Ballymena coachbuilder Robert Wright & Son. The 8.5m Handy-bus has already attracted over 100 orders from London Bus. It seats 30 with 16 standing and costs about £56,000.
Wright is also producing a 9m version which could be ready by the end of the year, and a 9.8m model with room for 62 passengers is in the pipeline. The pre-production London Bus order will help create another 10 jobs, boosting the workforce at Wright's new factory at Galgorm, outside Ballymena, to 150. The 8.5m Handy-bus is powered by a Cummins B Series turbo-diesel engine, via an Allison four-speed automatic transmission. It has ZF power steering and a 12.3m turning circle.
The Alusuisse M5438 bus bodybuilding system features corrosion-resistant alloy panels and flat windows secured by rubber gaskets to reduce replacement costs. The Handy-bus was designed in consultation with London Buses, which has specified an assault screen and an alarm siren to protect its drivers.
The saloon features anti-slip flooring and steps, underseat heating, moquette-trimmed seats, carpeted walls and ceilings, double entrance doors with low split-level steps and a luggage pen.