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Minister: UK bus industry ‘real export opportunity’

05 November 2014 #Top Stories

Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin has praised the bus manufacturing and component supply industry in the UK.

At a speech delivered today (5 November) during the Euro Bus Expo at Birmingham’s NEC, he drew attention to the ‘challenging’ environment facing the whole bus industry, but expressed confidence in the way in which vehicle designers, manufacturers and operators are rising to the challenge.

“Buses aren’t just about services,” he said.  “They are about suppliers too. We are fortunate to have many leading bus and coach manufacturers in this country, from Alexander Dennis to Optare and Wrightbus in Northern Ireland, which builds the new Routemaster.”

He described the products as a real export opportunity in the years ahead, adding that the current development of low carbon vehicles enhanced the competitiveness of UK suppliers. 

On the subject of the £30 million Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ (OLEV) bus fund announced in April, McLoughlin said, “Many of you are waiting with interest for the bidding arrangements… I am sure this includes the manufacturers I met a short while ago. The details of the competition are being finalised and will be announced shortly. I hope many of you will take part.”

The Minister went on to describe how a roll-out of contactless payment cards nationwide would be good for the whole industry, but understood there will be technical and commercial challenges. 

Elsewhere at the Expo, coach builder Irizar UK inked a deal to supply tour operator Ellison’s Travel with 10 new vehicles. The deal will be Irizar UK’s single biggest order to date.


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