Boris Johnson unveils Ballymena built double-decker
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has unveiled the modern day equivalent of London's famous double-decker bus which will be built in Ballymena.
The new bus, which will be manufactured by Wrightbus, will go into service in London in time for the 2012 Olympics.
A life-size mock-up of the double-decker was unveiled at the London Transport Museum's depot at Acton on Thursday.
Wrightbus was awarded the tender in December.
The Mayor has been a long time champion of London's famous Routemaster bus which is the inspiration for the design.
End Quote Boris Johnson Mayor of London
Standing on the rear platform of this delectable bus brings back a sense of nostalgia”
"Standing on the rear platform of this delectable bus brings back a sense of nostalgia but conversely also demonstrates the quintessence of the latest technology and design, making this bus fit for 21st century London," he said.
"It is wonderful to see how those two-dimensional designs we unveiled in May have been forged into this amazing bus and I for one cannot wait to be launching the buses when they first enter passenger service in 2012."
The new bus will have an open platform similar to the old Routemaster buses and will see the return of the traditional hop-on-hop-off service.
Mark Nodder, group managing director of Wright Group, said: "Finally seeing the design for this revolutionary new bus come to life is a real thrill for all of us.
"We're excited to hear the reactions of stakeholders and future passengers as we complete this milestone in development and move nearer to production."
A prototype will be delivered late next year with the first five buses due to enter passenger service in early 2012.