• Agreement from The Orange Order to speak to some Ardoyne residents. Not all.
Now we’ve got Londoners baking on Northern Ireland-made ‘Boris Buses’ which cost £354,500 each. Wrightbus are supplying 600 of the vehicles to London in a contract worth more than £200m.
On Thursday, heat levels on the upper decks were recorded at more than 30C – the maximum for transporting cattle and other farm animals across Europe.
Humidity levels were 77% . That’s 15% higher than hot Asian countries like Malaysia –
and almost double that of the Tube
Why don’t they open?
It’s a design thing. Sealed windows are in. Fresh air‘s out.
Who decided that?
Thomas Heatherwick – best known for his Olympic cauldron. He was afraid they would “ruin the efficiency” of the on-board cooling units
Why does it matter to Boris?
The “New Bus for London” was one of his 2008 key election pledges.
He spent £7.8m developing five prototype buses.
He said the design deserves much praise.
“Aside from its Hollywood blockbuster good looks, this bus offers an unparalleled passenger experience,” he said.
“It also demonstrates that we, as a nation, remain a great force in design, engineering and manufacture.”
He said they were “a brilliant feat of British engineering”,
Crystal Palace Great Exhibition 1851
Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and deputy chair of the London Assembly transport committee, said: “After spending a fortune of public money and after extensive testing the public should not have to put up with a cauldron on wheels“.
Can’t they change them?
Hardly. They got the royal seal of approval.
And they ferried Prince Harry and Prime Minister, David Cameron as they kicked off a global tour promoting Britain as a world class destination for trade, tourism, investment and education as part of the GREAT Britain Campaign.
New Yorkers in Manhattan stared in amazement as they arrived.
And they were made here?. In NI, Norn Iron, This Here Province, The Occupied 6 Counties?
Yes, in Ballymena
What sort of a place is Ballymena?
Ballymena has a large Protestant majority. Throughout the course of The Troubles it had a reasonably large paramilitary presence in the town; mostly through the presence of the UDA South East Antrim Brigade.
Drugs have been a major problem. Ballymena is said to be “the drugs capital of the North”.
In 2011 Ballymena had the third highest level of legal gun ownership in Northern Ireland. Recently in the Dunclug area of the town which now has a Catholic majority there has been tension.
And what about Wrightbus?
Wrightbus is an independent coachbuilder in Ballymena. It was established in 1946 by Robert Wright. It is currently run by his son William. Wright’s breakthrough into the mainstream bus bodybuilding sector came in the early/mid 1990s. The most distinctive product of Wright is the new London bus.
The cauldron on wheels.