Sir William Wright, founder of the Ballymena, Northern Ireland-based bus manufacturing firm, Wrightbus, has died aged 94.
Sir William started the company with his father, Robert Wright after World War Two, leading to the pioneering of the first British designed and built electric-powered bus in 1999, paving the way for the company’s hydrogen-powered future.
In 2021, the Ballymena-based firm unveiled what was believed to be the ‘world’s first’ hydrogen-powered double decker bus, which saw its development begin in 2015.
Sir William also pioneered aluminium bus framing in the UK in 1976, as well as the first low floor bus in 1992.
Wrightbus was sold to its current boss, Jo Bamford in 2019, who paid tribute to Sir William, praising the legacy he has left behind.
Jo Bamford, Chairman of Wrightbus, said, “Sir William and his father were pioneers, of that there is no doubt.
“The Wrightbus name is synonymous with everything they stood for and those values, problem-solving, hard work and never giving up, course through the business I run today.
“Sir William was fiercely loyal to this community and the fact his name is still held in such regard is testament to his relentless dedication.”
Bamford continued, “Everyone here at Wrightbus should never forget how this business started and the sacrifices which were made to ensure it goes from strength to strength in the future.
“Sir William is an indelible part of this fantastic story.”